Paeonia suffruticosa Andrews

Botanists Repositary 6, t. 373 ( 1804)

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

accepted name (2005):

cultivar group

Haw and Lauener

Haw, Stephen G & Lauener LA,1990, A review of the intraspecific taxa of Paeonia suffruticosa Andrews, Edinburgh Journal of Botany 47(3):273-281

Paeonia suffruticosa Andrews, Bot. Rep. 6: t.373 (1804); Stern, Stud. Gen. Paeonia 40 (1946); Fang Wenpei, Acta Phytotaxonomica Sinica 7(4): 302 (1958); K. Y. Pan, PI. Reip. Pop. Sin. 27: 41 (1979), excl. syn. P. decomposita Hand.-Mazz. Type: Andrews' plate, Bot. Rep. 6: t.373 (1804).

Key to subspecies

1. Leaves ± biternate, with 9 or occasionally more leaflets, terminal leaflets usually deeply trilobed and also with a few to several shallow lobes, very rarely entire; flowers single to double, with (5-)9-11 or many petals, petals white, pink, red, purple or lilac, immaculate or rarely with a reddish-purple basal blotch, floral disc purple .................. 2

+ Leaves ± triternate, with (11-)19-31 leaflets, terminal leaflets often entire, sometimes trilobed; flowers single, with 9-11 petals, petals white, with a deep purple basal blotch, floral disc whitish .................. subsp. rockii Haw & Lauener

2. Leaflets 9 or occasionally more, ovate to broadly ovate, terminal leaflets usually deeply trilobed, often also with a few shallow lobes, very rarely entire, tips of lobes acute, rachis and petiole more or less glabrous; flowers single to double, petals white, pink, red, purple or lilac, immaculate or rarely with a reddish-purple basal blotch ........... subsp. suffruticosa

+ Leaflets 9, ovate or broadly ovate to ± circular, terminal leaflets deeply trilobed and also with several shallow lobes, tips of lobes acute to blunt, rachis and petiole pubescent; flowers single, petals pink to purple, rarely white, immaculate ................. subsp. spontanea (Rehder) Haw & Lauener

Note: Leaves just below an inflorescence are often smaller and have fewer leaflets than those lower down; counts of leaflets given here are based on large leaves from well down on branches. Unfortunately these are often lacking from herbarium specimens.

P. suffruticosa Andr. subsp. suffruticosa

Syn.: P. arborea Donn, Hortus Cantabrig., 3rd ed., 102 (1804), nomen nudum.

P. suffruticosa Andr. var. pupurea Andr., Bot. Rep. 7, t.448 (1807). Type: the plate cited.

P. moutan Sims, Curtis' Bot. Mag. 29: t.1154 (1808). Type: the plate cited.

P. yunnanensis Fang, Acta Phytotaxonomica Sinica 7(4): 306, pi. 612 (1958). Type: China, Yunnan, Li-kiang Hsien [Lijiang], Wen-pe-shan, alt. 2500m, shrub 80cm high, flowers white, slightly reddish, 13 iv 1937, T. T. Yu 8143 (holo. KUN, n.v.).

Leaves usually with 9 or sometimes more leaflets, variable in shape. Flowers double, semi-double or single.

CHINA: Shaanxi, Wugong. 10 iv 1965, Wang Zuobing 19618 (PE): Pehkin [Beijing], Pan Chan [Pan Shan, now within the municipality of Tianjin], 'dans l'enclos de la pagode de Tien Tchen Se' [Tian Cheng Si], v 1889, Bodinier s.n. (E); W Hupeh [Hubei], Wilson 717 (K): Taiyuanfu [Taiyuan in Shanxi province], pagoda garden, Licent 893 (K); Shandong, Lao Shan [near Qingdao], Tai Qing Gong, C. Y. Chiao 2849 (K).

JAPAN: 'Prov. Nambu', 1865, Maximomcz s.n. (K). Hakodate, fount 6229 (K). Numerous other specimens in Herb. PE, E, & K, all from cultivation.

Known only in cultivation; probably derived from hybridization of P. suffruticosa subsp. spontanea with P. suffruticosa subsp. rockii with later back-crossing and selection (Yu et al., 1987).


reference of Hong Tan Zhang Jia-xun Li Jia-jue Zhao Wen-zhong Li Ming-rui


in:Bulletin of Botanical Research vol.12, No.3 July 1992 p. 223-234 STUDY ON THE CHINESE WILD WOODY PEONIES ( I ) NEW TAXA OF PAEONIA L. SECT. MOUTAN by DC. Hong Tan Zhang Jia-xun Li Jia-jue Zhao Wen-zhong Li Ming-rui

The author thinks that Paeonia suffruticosa Andr, is a name for a big group of various cultivars while Rock's Peony is a wild woody peony species', from which originating a series of cultivars. So the author raised Haw's subspecies to species grade, Paeonia rockii (Haw & Lauener) T. Hong et J. J. Li stat. nov.


link to Hong De-yuan 'Revision of the Paeonia suffruticosa-complex'

Carsten Burkhardt's Web Project Paeonia - The Peony Database


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