Paeonia femina Lobel


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

accepted name (2005):

Paeonia officinalis subsp. officinalis Passalaqua & Bernardo

Matthias de l’Obel (Lobelius) 1538-1616

Excellent little woodcuts (Figs 8, 9) illustrating Paeonia officinalis, including the old red double form 'Rubra', and P. mascula were published in the Plantarum seu Stirpium Icones (1581) of Matthias de l’Obel (Lobelius, 1538-1616) and make clear, as did the earlier woodcuts of Mattioli, the difference in roots between P. officinalis, which has them markedly swollen, and P. mascula, in which they are tapering, more slender and carrot-like. Linnaeus chose the figure on p. 684 right (Paeonia mas) as a good representation of his P. officinalis (beta) mascula. L'Obel had earlier used these woodcuts (with the exception of P. mas cum semine, p. 685) in his Plantarum seu Stirpium Historia 389-391 (1576) and also (with P. mas cum semine included) in his Dutch edition Kruydtboek 830-832 (1581).

From the book:Peonies of GreeceA taxonomic and historical Survey of the Genus Paeonia in Greece

William T. Stearn and Peter H. Davis

About this time the three great botanists, Rembert Dodoens, Charles de l'Ecluse, usually known as Clusius, and Mathias de l'Obel, or Lobelius, were in correspondence. Dodoens has already been mentioned. Lobelius mentions several paeonies in his Plantarum seu stirpium historia and also several paeonies in his Icones. He has plates of the plants known at that time, including illustrations of the seeds and roots—P.femina, which comes from the mountains near Geneva, then P.mas, without mentioning from where it comes, and P.promiscua neutra, the double paeony. It is interesting that here is the first mention of the Montpellier plant " P.pumila foemina," which might be P.humilis or the variety villosa. Lobel is quoted by Linnaeus.

Stern 1946

Passalaqua & Bernardo

in: The Genus Paeonia in Italy (2004)


Carsten Burkhardt's Web Project Paeonia - The Peony Database


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