ORNAMENTAL PLANTS OF HORTICULTURE VALUE
Selection of perennials
About 33-35 species, mainly in Eurasia, two in North America. There
are 21 species in the FSU, mainly in the Caucasus but also in the Far
East, Central Asia and Siberia. All species are very attractive. Cultivars of
P. lactiflora Pall. (Russian Far East) have been well-known in
gardens for many centuries.
P. anomala L.
European part of Russia (eastern regions), Siberia, Central Asia
(Dzungarskiy Alatau, Tarbagatay, Tien Shan), northwestern China and
Mongolia. Clearings in forests, meadows, slopes in the mountains.
Taproot deep. Flowering stems 60-120 cm. Leaves biternate,
segments lanceolate, entire. Flowers solitary, purple-pink, 8-15 cm
diam. During the peak of the flowering period the flowers are very
numerous, covering the entire bush. V - early spring to mid autumn,
in St. Petersburg Fl - May, Fr - July. P - by division and by seed
sown immediately in mid summer. Come into flower in 3-4 years after
sowing. Tolerates partial shade, grows best on rich soil in sunny
places. A very attractive species. In cultivation since 1788,
however poorly known today. Z 4 (3).
Closely related to this species are P. intermedia C. A. Mey.,
with bright red flowers and leaves with linear-lanceolate segments and
P. hybrida Pall., with crimson-red flowers (7-9 cm diam.)
and leaves with linear segments (3-5 mm wide). Both occur in Siberia
and Central Asia, where hybrids between these three species can be
found. Z 4 (3). New.
P. caucasica (Schipcz.) Schipcz. (P. kavachensis
Caucasus (western and central regions, Transcaucasus). Clearings
in the mountain forests, meadows, from foothills up to subalpine
Taprooted plant with thick horizontal rhizome. Stem leafy, 70-100
cm. Leaves biternate, lobes elongate-ovate or elongate-elliptical
with greyish wax and short sparse hairs beneath. Flowers large,
single, 8-10 cm diam., bright crimson, sometimes pink. Ovary hairy,
stigma and stamen filaments crimson. V - early spring to mid autumn.
Fl - May. Fr - July-August. P - by fresh seed sown immediately in
autumn or by division. Z 4.
P. daurica Andr. (P. taurica auct.)
Crimea, northwestern Caucasus. Mountain forests, grassy slopes.
Taprooted plant, with horizontal rhizome. Stem leafy, 60-100 cm.
Leaves triternate, rounded, with wavy margins, with grey wax above
and with short scant hair below. Flowers large, single, 7-10 cm in
diam., pink. Ovaries, stigma and stamen filaments pink. V - early
spring to mid autumn, in St. Petersburg April-September. Fl - May.
Fr - August-September. P - by fresh seed and by division. Plant in
a sunny place on well-drained soil, can also grow in partial shade.
Can grow many years in one place undisturbed. Z 4. Poorly known
P. lactiflora Pall. (P. albiflora Pall.,
P. chinensis hort.)
Siberia (Dahuria), Far East (southern regions), eastern Mongolia,
China, Korea; naturalized in Japan. Open forest edges, stony slopes
of subalpine zone.
Taprooted plant with short horizontal rhizome. Leafy stem, 70-100
cm or more. Leaves biternate, with lanceolate or elliptical lobes.
Flowers large, 10-18 cm diam., white, pink or red. V - early spring
to mid autumn, in St. Petersburg May-September. Fl - May-June for
2-3 weeks. Fr - July-August. P - by seed or by division. Plant
in full sun, on well-drained soil. The majority of peony cultivars
represent the results of selection in this species. Z 4.
P. macrophylla (Albov) Lomak.
Caucasus (central and western regions, Transcaucasus). Mountain
forests, clearings, meadows
Taprooted plant, with short horizontal rhizome. Leafy stems
100-120 cm. Leaves biternate, lobes obovate and elongate-ovate,
long-cuneate at base. Leaf blade smooth above, with sparse thin
hairs along veins, or rugose above with dense long hairs, greyish.
Flowers large, 8-14 cm diam., bright or pale yellow. Ovary glabrous,
stigma and stamen filaments dark red. V - early spring to mid autumn,
in St. Petersburg April-September. Fl - May for 2-3 weeks. Fr - July.
Plant in sunny places on well-drained soil. Z 4.
P. mlokosewitschii Lomak.
Caucasus (Lagodekhi Reserve, Dagestan). Mountain forests, stony
slopes in middle and upper mountain zones.
Taprooted plant, 80-100 cm. Leaves biternate, lobes obovate,
light blue due to wax cover, densely pubescent between veins. Flower
10-12 cm diam., yellow, ovary pubescent, stigma white-pink, stamen
filaments yellow-green. V - early spring to mid autumn, in St.
Petersburg April-September. Fl - May-June. Fr - July-August. P -
by seed and division. Prefers a sunny position, however tolerates
partial shade. A very attractive species. Z 4.
P. tenuifolia L.
Southern regions of European part of the FSU, Caucasus, Central
Europe and the Balkan Peninsula. In steppes, among shrubs on slopes.
Taprooted plant with leafy stems 50-70 cm. Leaves dark green,
bi-triternate, lobes narrow, sometimes filiform or linear. Flowers
dark red, large, 3-5(8) cm diam. Ovary pubescent, stigma and stamen
filaments dark red. V - early spring to mid autumn, in St.
Petersburg April-September. Fl - June for two weeks. Fr - July.
P - by seed and by division. Tolerates partial shade. Cultivation
very easy. Z 4 (3).
P. wittmanniana Hartwiss ex Lindl (P. abchasica Miscz.)
Caucasus (Abkhazia). Mountain forests, clearings.
Taprooted plant, with leafy stem 80-100 cm. Leaves bi- or
-triternate, lobes ovate, long-cuneate at base, bright green on both
sides, with slight pubescent beneath. Flowers 7-8 cm diam., creamy.
Ovary pubescent, stigma and stamen filaments dark red. V - early
spring to mid autumn, in St. Petersburg April-October. Fl - May-June.
Fr - August. Tolerates partial shade, does well in full sun on
well-drained soil. Z 4.
There are two other species with yellow flowers, unknown in
cultivation, both native to the Caucasus. P.
steveniana Kem.-Nath. Plants 70-90 cm, flowers lemon
yellow, half open. Fl - May. Z 4 (3). P. tomentosa
(Lomak.) N. Busch. Plants 50-90 cm, flowers large pale yellow.
Fl - early May. Very ornamental. Z 4 (3). Russian botanists
accept also some other Caucasian species, such as red-flowered once:
P. biebersteiniana Rupr., P. carthalinica
Ketsk., P. majko Ketsk. and P. ruprechtiana
Kem.-Nath., also pink-flowered P. lagodechiana Kem.-Nath.
Some of these species are probably of hybrid origin. All are of
horticultural value. P. cartalinica, with bright red flowers
and leaves with narrow linear lobes closed very much to P.
tenuifolia; and P. majko, with large, red flowers and
bi-triternate leaves are especially attractive. Both occur in