F.C. Stern & G. Taylor


Jornal of the Royal Horticultural Society 1951 vol. 76 216-217

F. C. Stern, F.L.S., V.M.H. and G. Taylor, D.Sc., F.L.S

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IN 1936 ludlow And sherriff collected seeds of a fine tree Peony in S.E. Tibet, and the plant, provisionally identified as P. lutea, became successfully established in many gardens and it is now widely distributed.

It was soon evident that the new introduction differed in several respects from typical P. lutea, a species from Yunnan and Szechwan which has been cultivated for over fifty years, and it became known in gardens and referred to in literature as P. lutea "Tibetan form". Our observations on long series of cultivated plants and herbarium specimens confirm the view that this Peony should be given separate taxonomic status, and, accordingly, we are pleased to name it in honour of MR. L. Ludlow, who, with major sherriff, has been responsible for mainy notable introductions to gardens in recent years.

In S.E. Tibet P. lutea var. Ludlowii grows in the transition region between the monsoon belt and the dry wind-swept plateau. It is, therefore, not so exacting in its cultural requirements, and plants from this intermediate climatic zone appear to accommodate themselves more readily to the drier conditions in southern England. For example, Cotoneaster conspicua, Codonopsis vinciflora, and several species of Berberis from the same area are of the easiest culture in southern England.

ludlow's Peony is, at maturity, a taller plant than typical P. lutea, but it also differs in having larger more open flowers borne above the apical leaf clusters and it flowers about a month earlier in this country.

We have examined about 200 flowers of P. lutea var. Ludlowii and none has had more than two functional carpels, whereas in typical P. lutea the carpels vary from three to four.

Paeonia lutea var. Ludlowii Stern & Taylor var. nov, A planta typica statura majori, floribus majoribus ([5-]7- 10[- 12] cm. diametro), petalis patentioribus, folliculis 1-2, recedit.

Syn. P. Delavayi var. lutea sensu Marquand in Journ. Linn. Soc. Lond. Bot. 48, 158 (1929).

P. lutea sensu Stern, Study Gen. Paeonia, 46 (1946) pro parte, quoad plantas a Ludlow, Sherriff et Kingdon-Ward lectas.

P. lutea, Tibetan form, Stem in Journ. R.H.S. Lond. 72, 394, fig. 157 (1947).


S.E. tibet. In thickets, scrub jungle, along cultivated fields and on dry sandy and gravelly river terraces in the Charme District and Kongbo Province, between 9,300 and 10,900 ft. We have examined the folloving specimens:

Charme Distr., Trön, Loro Chu, 25:vi:1935 Kingdon-Ward 11792;

Charme, Char Chu, seed specimen, 22:x:1938 Ludlow, Sherriff & Taylor 6392;

Lung, Chayul Chu, 28:iv:1936 Ludlow & Sherriff 1376;

Kongbo Prov., Miling, Tsangpo Valley 28:v:1938, Ludlow, Sherriff & Taylor 4540 (type in Herb. Brit. Mus.)

same locality, seed specimen, 13:x:1947, Ludlow, Sherriff & Elliot 13313,

Shoka, Tsangpo Valley, 23.v:1947, Ludlow, Sherriff & Elliot 15052;

Shinji Chogyal, near Gyala, Tsangpo Valley, 8:v:1947, Ludlow, Sherriff & Elliot 13641.