Paeonia sterniana H. R. Fletcher

Journ.Roy.Hort.Soc.84,p.326-328 (1959)

type: [herbaceous peony] – [species]

accepted name (2005)


original description:


Paeonia sterniana H. R. Fletcher species nova. Herba perennis. Folio, plerumque biternata, segmentis anguste ellipticis vel anguste oblongo-ellipticis, acutis vel acuminatis, ad 10 cm. longis, 2 cm. latis, petiolis 4-8 cm. longis. Caulis florifer uniflorus, 30-90 cm. altus. Flos patens 6-8 cm. diametro. Sepala 4-6, extimum lanceolatum foliolatum, intimum ovatum apiculatum. Petala alba, obovata ad 3-5 cm. longa, 2 cm. lata. Staminum filamenta alba, anthera flava. Carpella 3-4 glabra. Folliculi 2.5 cm. longa, c. 1 cm. diametro, oblongo-ellipsoidei, coccinei. Semina indigotica.

A perennial herb with glabrous stems 30-90 cm. high. Leaves alternate, biternate, including the petiole up to 30 cm. long; leaflets glabrous deeply cut into many narrow elliptic or narrow oblong-elliptic acuminate or acute segments up to 10 cm. long and 2 cm. broad, dark green above, glaucous below. Flowers solitary up to 8 cm. across. Sepals 4, the exterior lanceolate, foliaceous, longer than the petals, the interior ovate, apiculate up to 1.5 cm. long and broad. Petals white, obovate up to 3.5 cm. long, 2 cm. broad, thin and papery. Stamens with white filaments and yellow anthers. Carpels 3-4, glabrous, pale green. Follicles scarlet when mature, 2.5 cm. long, 1 cm. broad, seed indigo-blue.


P. mairei and P. emodi sit comfortably in Section Paeon, subsection Foliolatae F. C. Stern. In this subsection the species are all herbaceous and the lower leaves are cut into distinct leaflets all of which are entire; P. mascula Miller is typical of the subsection. P. sterniana, on the other hand, has its leaflets very deeply lobed or toothed and is quite clearly a member of Section Paeon, subsection Dissectifoliae F. C. Stern. In this subsection its nearest of kin is P. anomala L., widely distributed from the Ural Mountains to Lake Baikal in Central Asia. The fades of the two species is very similar, though P. sterniana lacks the lines of very short hairs along the veins on the upper leaf surface, which are so characteristic of P. anomala. P. veitchii Lynch, which wilson introduced from Szechwan for veitch in 1907, also is closely allied but is at once distinguished by having two or more flowers to a stem, whereas the flowers of P. sterniana always are solitary.


P. emodi Wall. subsp. sterniana (H.R. Fletcher) J.J. Halda

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