Paeonia ludlowii (Stern & G. Taylor) J.J. Li & D.Z. Chen
in Bull. Bot. Res. North-East. Forest. Univ.,

see D.Y. Hong in Novon,18(2): 154 (1998), isonym; 7(2): 157 (1997):


Synonym of P. ludlowii (Stern & Taylor) D.Y.Hong

Li Jiajue (Ed.) 2005,

Chinese Tree Peony, Xibei, Xinan, Jiangnan Volume

China Forestry Publishing House, 2005. ISBN 7503840404,

Paeonia ludlowii (Stern & Taylor) Hong, [ P. ludlowii (Stern & Taylor) JJ. Li et D. Z. Chen; P. lutea Delavay ex Franch. var. ludlowii Stern et Taylor]

A large deciduous shrub up to 3.5 m tall. Thick fleshy roots attenuated downward to the tip but no expanded ellipsoid. Bark gray-brown and exfoliated. Leaves big, biternate, pinnate, compound. Leaflets 9, glabrous, above green and below gray, almost sessile, mostly 3-partite, then 2-teethed, acuminate at the apex. Flowers 3 or 4 per shoot, terminal and axillary, diam. 10-12cm.

Bracts 4 or 5. Sepals 3 or 4, arranged by size. Petals spreading, pure yellow, occasionally white, obovate, apex rounded. Filaments yellow. Disc fleshy, yellow, papillary. Carpel(s) 1 or 2, glabrous. Stigmas yellow. Follicles cylindric. Seeds big and globose. Flowering late May to early June. Fruit August (Fig. 1-1).

P. ludlowii is distributed in a quite narrow area. The wild species is only found in the Brahmaputra Gorges at altitudes between 3,000 - 3,700 m in SE Tibet. The plants are tall and have large leaves and beautiful flowers (Fig. 1-2). Ludlow and Sherriff brought P. ludlowii to England from Tibet in 1936 and introduced it many times later. Until 1953 P. lutea var. ludlowii was published (Bot. Mag., London, 1953, t. 209). Nowadays, P. ludlowii, as a substitute of P. lutea, has been widely cultivated in Europe and America and used as parent plants in breeding. The resource investigation of this species was done late in China. After investigation from April to May in 1986, Zhang Q.X., from Beijing Forestry University, found a 20 hm2 sized population (pop.) in Milin of 3,100 m in altitude on the south coast of Brahmaputra where P. ludlowii is a dominant species. He also found that this species has only 1 or 2 carpel(s) and blooms 2 or 3 weeks later than P. lutea. Since then, Chen D.Z. et al. of Yuzhong Peace Peony Garden in Gansu investigated and introduced it respectively in 1991 and 1993. Based on the field investigation and the observation of introduced plants, Li JJ. et al. found obvious differences between P. ludlowii and P. lutea in both morphological and ecological characters and took it as a species (Li JJ. et al., 1995). The analyses of karyotype and leave protein also indicated that it was obviously different from P. lutea. Therefore, the classification position of P. ludlowii should be established (Li JJ. etal, 1998). During this period, Hong D.Y. etal also performed the investigation and reported the same viewpoint.

Burkhardt 2006: 

it seems, that two scientists from two different institutes in China made investigations on the same topic. As Li recognises, that Hong's publication is validly published and earlier, this may give the reason for the acceptance of Hong's work and not Li's.

Carsten Burkhardt's Web Project Paeonia - The Peony Database


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