Paeonia mascula Miller ssp. triternata (Pall. ex DC.) (Boissier) Stearn & Davis

Peonies of Greece 107 (1984)

type: [herbaceous peony] – [species] – [synonym]

accepted name (2004):

Paeonia daurica Andrews


Stearn & Davis 


3e. P. mascula subsp. triternata Figs 33,34

P. daurica Andrews, Bot. Repos. 7: t. 486 (1807); Sims in Curtis's Bot-Mag. 35: t. 1441 (1812); F.C. Stern, Study of Paeonia, 70, t. 6 (1946); Cullen & Heywood in Fl. Europ. 1:243 (1964).

P. triternata Pallas ex DC., Prodr. 1:165 (1824), nomen illegit.

P. corallina var. triternata Boiss., Fl. Orient. 1:97 (1867).

P. corallina subsp. triternata (Boiss.) N. Busch in Kusnezow, Busch & Fomin, Fl. Cauc. Crit. 3.ili:10 (1901).

P. mascula var. triternata (Boiss.) Gürke in Richter, Pl. Europ. 2:400 (1903).

Illustrations: Andrews, op. cit. (1807); Curtis's Bot. Mag. 35: t. 1441 (1812); F.C. Stern, op. cit. (1946).

Protologue; “P. corallina [beta] triternata. Foliola ovato-orbiculata saepe suborbiculala obtusa aut vix acuta. P. triternata Pall. Nov. Act. Petr. X, p. 312. P. Daurica Anders. Bot. Mag. tab. 1441!” (Boissier, loc. cit. 1867).

Description: Stem up to 60 cm, glabrous. Lower leaves biternate, rather thick; leaflets usually 9, very broadly elliptic to broadly ovate-elliptic, obovate or almost orbicular, shortly subacuminate, rounded or truncate at apex, 5-9 cm long, 4-6 cm broad, occasionally with some of the leaflets divided into 1 or 2 smaller leaflets, undulate at margin and somewhat upcurved, deep green above, glaucous and usually glabrous below, the terminal leaflets slightly or distinctly stalked; petiolule 5-20 nun. Flowers 7.5-9.5 cm across. Petals 5-8, obovate-orbicular, rose. Filaments yellow (purplish in Turkey). Carpels 2-4, long-tomentose. Style 8-9 mm; stigmatic area c. 2 mm broad, circinnate from base. Fl. May. 2n: 20.

Type: Crimea (see below).

Subsp. triternata sensu stricto is a native of the Crimea and is there diploid (2:10). It has distinctive foliage, the 9 leaflets being often obovate or almost orbicular, with a rather concave upper surface, undulate margin and rounded to truncate apex. It is well depicted by Lilian Snelling in F.C. Stern's Study t. 6 (1946) as well as in the earlier illustrations of Andrews and Sims, all from cultivated plants. These characters may appear individually but apparently not all together within mascula populations outside the Crimea and the status of such plants, which are covered by the above description, is doubtful. They have more acute leaflets than subsp. triternata senso stricto. They occur on the eastern Aegean islands of Samos and Lesvos, together with subsp. mascula, which is tetraploid (2n: 20). The following gatherings exemplify them:

Lesvos: o-------- (ATH!). Samos: ----------

Some morphological overlap between subsp. triternata and subsp. mascula in Anatolia has led us to give it subspecific rank here. Possibly the Greek material is best designated as "triternata-approaching" (ad subsp. triternatam accedens).

A variant of P. mascula occurring in Romania with typical mascula but approaching triternata in its obtuse or subacute leaflets was named P. corallina var. triternatiformis Nyárády in Savulescu, Fl. Republ. Pop. Romane 2:403, 675, pl. 63 fig. 2 (1953). Population studies are needed to clarify the status of taxa within this mascula complex. If the Crimean peony is accepted as specifically distinct from P. mascula, its nomenclaturally correct name is P. daurica published by Andrews in 1807. No such peony occurs in the region of south-eastern Siberia and adjacent north-eastern Mongolia formerly known as Dauria or Davurica. It was introduced into cultivation in England from the Crimea, the Taurica Chersonesus or Taurica of Ancient Greek and Roman geographers, and the epithet daurica adopted by Andrews is obviously a misrendering of taurica by a gardener. Pallas, who lived in the Crimea from 1795 to 1810, originally named the species P. triternata but never validly published this name; when De Candolle adopted it in 1824, it was antedated by the name P. daurica and made illegitimate. At a varietal and subspecific level, however, the correct epithet is triternata adopted by Boissier in 1867 and Busch in 1901.


Cullen & Heywood in Tutin: Flora Europaea


(b) Subsp. triternata (Pallas ex DC.) Stearn & P. H. Davis, Peonies of Greece 107 (1984) (P. triternata Pallas ex DC., P. daurica Andrews, P. taurica auct.): Leaves glabrous beneath; leaflets usually 9, broadly ovate to suborbicular, with undulate margins. Flowers pale purplish-red. Filaments yellow. Follicles 2 or 3. Romania; Krym.


in Wädenswil:


Carsten Burkhardt's Web Project Paeonia - The Peony Database


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