Paeonia arborea Donn nomen subnudum

Cat. Hort. Cantab. Ed. 3, 102 , 1804


synonym of P. suffruticosa Andr. subsp. suffruticosa Haw and Lauener


synonym of P. x suffruticosa Andr. agg. Page 1995




Description of Haw and Lauener


P. suffruticosa Andr. subsp. suffruticosa Haw and Lauener

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.


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).




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.


l. Paeonia suffruticosa Andrews

Bot. Rep. 6:t. 373. 1804; Rehder, Man. Cult. Trees and Shrubs, 214. 1927; Chen, 111. Man. Chin. Trees & Shrubs, Ist ed. 261. Fig. 193. 1937, 2nd ed. 261. Fig. 193. 1953; Stern, Stud. Gen. Paeonia, 40. 1946, quoad nom.; Fang in Acta Phytotax. Sin. 7(4); 313, 1958 p.p. excl. syn. P. papaveracea Andrews and P. decomposita Hand.-Mazz.; K. Y. Pan in Fl. Reip. Pop. Sin. 27: 41. 1979, p. p. excl. syn. P. decomposita Hand.-Mazz. -Type: Andrews' plate. Bot. Rep. 6: t. 373. 1804(!)

The species is characterized by biternate leaves with no more than 9 leaflets and leaflets mostly lobed. It includes one of the most famous omaments, mudan, commonly cultivated in gardens, and its wild relative, here treated as two subspecies.

None of the specimens cited under “P. suffruticosa" by Stern (1946) belongs to this taxon; those from Kansu (Gansu), Tibet and Bhutan belong to P. rockii, while that from Tatsien-lu (Kangding), Sichuan, is P. decomposita. D.-Y. Hong (1997a, b) has made it clear that in NW. Sichuan (including Kangding) there is only woody species of Paeonia, P. decomposita, whereas the plants in S. Tibet and Bhutan are P. rockii which was introduced there.

1a. Paeonia suffruticosa ssp. suffruticosa

Paeonia arborea Donn, Hortus Cantabrig., 3rd ed., 102. 1804, nom. nud.

P. suffruticosa var. purpurea Andrews, 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 in Acta Phytotax. Sin. 7(4): 306. Pl. 61-2. 1958. - Type: Yunnan, Lijiang, T. T. Yu 8143 (KUN!)

Flowers always double, various in colour (Plates 1-3). Only known in cultivation. It has been cultivated for more than two thousand years and has hundreds of cultivars. The subspecies is considered to have been domesticated from its closest relative, the subspecies yinpingmudan (Hong, D.-Y. et al. 1998b).


HONG De-Yuan & PAN Kai-Yu Taxonomical history and revision of Paeonia sect. Moutan (Paeoniaceae) Acta Phytotaxonomica Sinica 37(4):351-368(1999) Paeonia suffruticosa Andrews

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