Paeonia spontanea (Rehder) T.Hong and W. Z. Zhao

Bull. Bot. Res., Harbin 14 (3) :238 (1994)


Synonym of P. jishanensis (Hong, D.-Y. & Pan, K.-Y. 1999.)


original description T. Hong et W. Z. Zhao


Paeonia spontanea (Rehder) T. Hong et W. Z. Zhao, stat. nov.

Syn.: P. suffruticosa Andr. var. spontanea Rehder in J. Am. Arb. 1:193. 1920; Stern, stud. Gen. Paeonia 43. 1946; K. Y. Pan, Fl. Reip. Pop. Sin. 27:45.1979 P. suffruticosa Andr. subsp. spontanea (Rehder) S. G. Haw & L. A. Lauener in Edinb. J. Bot. 47(3): 278-279. 1990 P. jishanensis T. Hong et W. Z. Zhao in Bull. of Bot. Res. 12(3):225-226. 1992, Syn.nov.

Jishan Peony is a very good wild species, from which originating a series of cultivars. So, the author raised Haw's subspecies to species grade, Paeonia spontanea (Rehder) T. Hong et W. F. Zhao stat. nov.




Editor's Note in : The new Plantsman vol. 1, 4: p. 247 (1994)


Paeonia jishanensis Hong Tao & W.Z. Zhao was first described at species level in 1992. When they raised var. spontanea Rehder to species level in 1994, and assigned this name to the taxon, Hong & Zhao created a superfluous name. In accordance with Article 11,3 of the International Code of Botanical Nomenclatur (1988) which states „For any taxon below the rank of genus, the correct name ist the combination of the final epithet of the earliest legitimate name of the taxon of the same rank, with the correct name of the species to which is assigned“the name P. jishanensis must stand because it was the first name to be published at species rank. Paeonia spontanea is an incorrect substitute which cannot be accepted, and therefore becomes a synonyme.


Ai mu dan






Paeonia spontanea (Rehder) T.Hong and W. Z. Zhao in Bull. of Bot. Res. 14(3): 238, 1994.

P. suffruticosa Andr. var. spontanea Rehder

P. suffruticosa Andr. ssp. spontanea (Rehder) S.G.Haw and L.A. Lauener

P. jishanensis T. Hong and W.Z. Zhao.

Deciduous undershrub 1.2m high. The dried bark shows some brown colour and longitudinal veins. The annual twigs are pale green with brownish red iridescences and obscure lenticels. The two-year twigs look grey and black with fine-spotted lenticels.

The five secondary leaflets on each primary leaflet of the bipinnate leaves are circular or ovate in shape with 1 - 5 clefts; no hairs on the upper surface, but a covering of tiny hairs on the under surface, which gradually come off later. The white flowers, some with faint red or light purplish-red iridescence at the base, grow singly at the top of the branches. In some stamens the filaments are dark purplish-red, but white at the top. The flower disc is also dark purplish-red. The 5 carpels have dark purplish-red stigmas. The flowering period covers the end of April and the beginning of May (Fig. 1.).

The species grows mainly in south-west Shanxi and north Shaanxi. In the former, annual mean temperature in Puxian is 8.6°C, maximum 35.5°C, minimum 23.2°C, S10°C accumulated temperature 3002.7°C; annual mean precipitation 591.7mm, frostfree season 170 days. In Jishan and Yongji, the annual mean temperature is 13.0 to 13.8°C, SlO°C accumulated temperature 4401.0 - 4568.3°C; annual mean precipitation 483.3 to 553.9mm; frostfree season 205 - 222 days. The main vegetation is Quercus in broad-leaved deciduous forests and secondary bush communities. The Paeonia spontanea plants grow at 1220 -1470m on shady slopes and among bushes of open forests on shady slopes. In the mountain brown earth with pH 5.8 - 6.2, the plant communities consist of: arboreous layer (Quercus liaotungensis, Q. variabilis, Carpinus turczaninowii, Tilia mongolica, Ulmus pumila), bushes (Viburnum sargentii, Spiraea fritschiana, Cotoneaster acutifolius, Lespedeza davurica, Rosa xanthina, Syringa oblata, Prunus davidiana, Corylus sp.), liana (Lonicera japonica, Schisandra chinensis) andherbage (Carex sp., Thalictrum sp., Adenophora sp., Artemisia sp.). Around MapaoquanVillage of Jishan, the density of P. spontanea reaches 40 per 100m2 (Qin Kuijie et al, 1987).




Hong, D.-Y. & Pan, K.-Y. 1999. A revision of the Paeonia suffruticosa complex (Paeoniaceae). -Nordic Journal of Botany 19: 289-299. Copenhagen. ISSN 0107-055X.


2. Paeonia jishanensis T. Hong et W. Z. Zhao

Bull. Bot. Res. 12(3): 225. Fig. 2. 1992. - Type: China, Shanxi, Jishan, Xiqiu, alt. 1200 m. 1991,05,10. Hong, T.915010(CAF,n.v.)

P. spontanea (Rehder) T. Hong et W. Z. Zhao Bull. Bot. Res. 14(3): 238, 1994.

P. suffructicosa ssp. spontanea (Rehder) S. G. Haw & L. A. Lauener in Edinb. J. Bot. 47(3): 278. 1990.

P. suffruticosa var. spontanea Rehder in J. Arn. Arb. l. 193. 1920, p.p., excl. specim. Tai-pei-shan (Mt. Taibai), Purdom s.n.(syntype of var. spontanea. A!); Stern, Stud. Gen. Paeonia, 43. 1946; K. Y. Pan, Fl. Reip. Pop. Sin. 27: 45. 1979. - Type (lectotype): China, Shaanxi, "50 li W. of Yenanfu" [Yan'an!], 1910, Purdom 338 (here designated A! isolectotypes E, K).

The group has been treated at three different levels, as variety by Rehder (1920), Stern (1946), Anonymous (1972) and Pan (1979), as subspecies by Haw & Lauener (1990) and as independent species by Hong, T. & Zhao (1994). The major differences between "suffruticosa" and "spontanea" are leaflet shape (particularly lateral ones), leaflet division and leaf indumentum in addition to whether there exist plantlets from root turions (spontanea) or not (suffruticosa).

The entity is scatteredly found in the Zhongtiao Mountains (Yongji County in Shanxi and Jiyuan County in Henan), the Luliang Mountains (Jishan County, Shanxi), the Huashan Mountains (Huayin County, Shaanxi), and Tongchuan and Yan'an both in Shaanxi (Fig. 7). All these populations except the one in Yan'an grow in thickets or in secondary deciduous forests at altitudes from 900 to 1700 m. The population in Yan'an consists of several individuals at the western side of the peony garden behind Zhaojun Temple in Wanhua Shan, and may well be introduced and naturalized there. Because the garden has been established probably for hundreds of years, and no one (including local people) knows its exact history, it is hard to give a definite answer about the history of P. jishanensis in Yan'an. All the populations mentioned above have purely white petals which are occasionally pinkish at the periphery (Plate 4).

Specimens examined. Henan: Jiyuan, 1050 m alt. 1997,04,26 Wang. S. Y. H97001 (PE, MO); Huadong-shu Forest Farm, 1200 m alt., 1994,05,22, Wang, S.Y. and Zhang, Y.J. 940220 (PE).

Shaanxi, Yan'an, Wanhua Shan, 36.6N, 109.4E, near the peony garden, 1997,05,09, Hong, D. Y. and Feng Y. X. H97066 (PE); eodem loc., Hsia, W. Y. 3519 (PE); Shaanxi-Gansu Basin, Le, T. Y. s. n. (PE).

Shanxi, no precise locality, 1390 m alt 1916,06.16, P. Licent 1909 (PE); Jishan: Xishe, 1550 m alt. 1989,05, Qiu, J. Z. PB89201 (PE); eodem loc. 1440 m alt. Qiu, J. Z. PB89501 (PE) ; Majiagou Village, 35.7N, 110.9 E. 1400 m alt. 1996,05,14, Zhou, S. L. H96053 (PE, A, K, MO, S); Majiagou Forest Farm, Chayuangou, 1450 m alt. 1982,05,14, Liu T. W. and Zeng Z. F. 165 (PE); eodem loc. Pei, Y. L. 9002 (PE); eodem loc., Pei, Y. L. and Hong, D. Y. 93003 (PE), 93006 (PE), 93008 (PE), 93009 (PE); Yongji, Shuiyukou Village, Pei, Y. L. 9170 (PE), 9180 (PE). 9201(PE); eodem loc., Pei, Y. L. and Hong, D. Y. 93011 (PE), 93427 (PE).




HONG De-Yuan & PAN Kai-Yu Taxonomical history and revision of Paeonia sect. Moutan (Paeoniaceae) Acta Phytotaxonomica Sinica 37(4):351-368(1999) Paeonia jishanensis T. Hong et W. Z. Zhao

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