Paeonia suffruticosa auct. non Andrews, F.C. Stern

F.C. Stern Study of the Genus Paeonia, 1946

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

accepted name (2005):

Paeonia rockii (S. G. Haw et L. A. Lauener) T. Hong et J. J. Li: Hong, D.-Y. & Pan, K.-Y. 1999.


link to description of Stern


Fang, in Acta Phytotax Sin. 7(4): 313. 1958


1. Paeonia suffruticosa Andrews, Bot. Repos., VI. pi. 373 (1804)..Bailey, Stand. Cycl. Hort., V., 2434 (1916)..Rehder, Man. Cult. Trees & Shrubs, 1st Ed., 214 (1927), 2nd Ed., 5th Print., 204 (1951).-Chen, Ill. Man. Chin. Trees & Shrubs, 1st Ed., 261, fig. 193 (1937), 2nd Ed., 261, fig. 193 (1953). .Handel-Mazzetti in Act. Hort. Gothob., XIII. 40 (1939) (PI. .Sin. XXXIII. 40)..F. C. Stern in Journ. Roy. Hort. Soc., LXVIII. 124 (1943); Stud. Gen. Paeonia, 40 (1946) Tsui, Synop. Econ. PI. N. China, 91 91 (1953).. Hu, Handb. Econ. PI. I (1). 344 (1955). Paeonia arborea Donn, Cat. Hort. Cantab., 3rd Ed., 102 (1804), nomen subnudum.. Joh. Kerner, Hort. Sempervir, t. 645 (1822).. Schneider, 111. Handb. Laubholzk., I. 271, fig. 181 d.f (1904).Paeonia suffruticosa var. purpurea Andrews, Bot. Repos., VII. pl. 448 (1807). Paeonia papaveracea Andrews, Bot. Repos., VII, pi. 463 (1807).Paeonia Moutan Sims in Curtis' Bot. Mag., XXIX. t. 1154 (1808).. Aiton, Hort. Kew, 2nd Ed., III. 315 (1811).DC. Syst., I. 387 (1817); Prodr. I. 65 (1824).. Anderson in Trans. Linn. Soc. London, XII. 254 (1818)..Smith in Rees. Cycl. 1 (1819)..Lindley. Bot. Reg., t. 379 (1819), t. 1678 (1835)..Sabine in Trans. Hort. Soc. London, VL t. 7 (1826).. Miquel, Prol. PI. Jap., 197 (1866.7).Franchet et Savatier,Enum. PI. Jap., I. 14 (1874).. Baker in Gard. Chron., N. Ser. XXI. 779 (1884).. Forbes et Hemsley in Journ. Linn. Soc. London.-Bot. Ser., XXIII. 22 (1886) (Ind. Fl. Sin.).. Lynch in Journ. Roy. Hort. Soc., London, XII. 432, fig. 22, 23 (1890).. Huth in Engler, Bot. Jahrb., XIV. 272 (1891).- Bretschneider, Hist. Europ. Bot. Expl. China, 191, 204 (1898).. Diels in Engler, Bot. Jahrb. XXIX. 324 (1900)..Finet et Gagnepain in Bull. Soc. Bot; Fr.. LI. 534 (1904); Contrib. Fl. As. Or., I. 221 (1905).. Bean, Trees & Shrubs Hardy Brit. Isl., 5th Ed., II. 120 (1929). Paeonia moutan var. papaveracea (Andrews) DC. Syst. I. 387 (1817).. Sims in Curtis' Bot. Mag., XLVII. l 2175 (1820). Paeonia arborea var. papaveracea (Andrews) Schneider, 111, Handb. Laubholzk., I.. fig. 180 (1904). ? Paeonia decomposita Handel Mazzetti in Act. Hort. Gothob. XHI. 39 (1939) (Pi. Sin. XXXIII. 39).. F. C. Stern, Stud. Gen. Paeonia, 142, 147 (1946), noted as a synon.

Shensi: South Wu-tai-shan (T. N. Uou, P. C. Tsoong et C. S. Tien, 127). Kansu: Tien-shut Hsien (C. W. Chang, 13),

This most beautiful paeony has been praised as "the King of flowers" for a long «imc in China and its colloquial name is "Moutan" in Chinese. It has been commonly cultivated in gardens since the Han Dynasty, for more than 2,000 years. It may be found in gardens of all the main cities throughout this country, but the wild form is known to occur in Shensi and Kansu provinces. Dr. F. C. Stern recorded the distribution of this species also in Bhutan, Tibet and Ta-tsien-lu of Western Szechuan. I am in doubt whether Dr. Stern's records are based on wild or cultivated plants.

Dr. Handel-Mazzetti based Paeonia decomposita on a single fruiting specimen, collected by Dr. Harry Smith in 1922 from Chosojo of Sikang (western Szechuan now) (Field Number 4641,). The species is characterized by bearing small few-lobed leaves papillose-glaucous on the under surface. Dr. Stern, after seeing a photograph of the type, considers it identical with P. suffruticosa. It remains to be an imperfectly known or doubtful species until the type-specimen is available for careful examination.




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.


5. Paeonia rockii (S. G. Haw et L. A. Lauener) T. Hong et J. J. Li

Bull. Bot. Res. 12(3): 227. Fig. 4. 1992; D. Y. Hong in Acta Phytotax. Sin. 37: 1998.

P. suffruticosa Andrews subsp. rockii S. G. Haw et L. A. Lauener in Edinb. J. Bot. 47(3): 279. Fig. l a (p.276). 1990. - Type: China, Kansu (Gansu), "probably near Wutu (Wudu), (Farrer's Chieh Jo)", Farrer no 8(?) (E, photo PE!).

P. papaveracea auct. non Andrews: Anonymous, Icon. Cormophyt. Sin. l: 652. Fig. 1303. 1972.

P. suffruticosa Andr. var. papaveracea auct. non. Andrews: K. Y. Pan in Wang, W. T. (ed.): Fl. Reip. Pop. Sin. 27: 45. pl. 3(p.43). 1979.

P. suffruticosa auct. non Andrews: Stern, Stud. Gen. Paeonia, 40. 1946, p. p.; Fang, in Acta Phytotax Sin. 7(4): 313. 1958, p.p.

P. moutan Sims subsp. atava Brühl in Ann. Bot. Gard. Calcutta 5(2): 114. pl. 126. 1896, syn. nov. -Type: Tibet (Xizang), Chumbi, Tuk Chang, 1884, 06, King's Collector 549 (K).

P. suffruticosa Andr. subsp. atava (Brühl) S. G. Haw et L. A. Lauener, in Edinb. J. Bot. 47(3): 280. 1990. syn.nov.

P. suffruticosa Andrews, "Rock's Variety' ('Joseph Rock') hort.

This species is characterized by leaves tri- (or bi-) pinnate; leaflets usually 1933, very rarely less than 19; filaments yellow; floral disc yellowish white; Stigmata yellow and petals white but with a dark purple blotch at the base. Thus, the species differs distinctiy from the other four in the complex. And its flowers are the largest in the whole genus.

D.-Y. Hong (1997a) has described bis searching for P. moutan subsp. atava in its type locality, Yadong, S. Tibet, in 1996 with failure, and explained his consideration that so-called "atava" was actually "P. rockii" introduced by lamas.

1t is relatively widely distributed in four provinces, Gansu, Shaanxi, Henan and Hubei (Fig.8). Two subspecies can be recognized.




HONG De-Yuan & PAN Kai-Yu Taxonomical history and revision of Paeonia sect. Moutan (Paeoniaceae) Acta Phytotaxonomica Sinica 37(4):351-368(1999) Paeonia rockii (S. G. Haw et L. A. Lauener ) T. Hong et J. J. Li

Carsten Burkhardt's Web Project Paeonia - The Peony Database


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