Peonies are among the most popular garden plants in temperate regions. Herbaceous peonies are also sold as cut flowers on a large scale, although generally only available in late spring and early summer. An emerging source of peonies in mid to late summer is the Alaskan market.
Unique growing conditions due to long hours of sunlight create availability from Alaska when other sources have completed harvest. Some species are caespitose (tufted), because the crown produces adventitious buds, while others have stolons.
They have rather large compound leaves without glands and stipples, and with anorectic stomata. In the woody species the new growth emerges from scaly buds on the previous flush or from the crown of the rootstock.
In P. emoji, P. lactiflora, P. each and many of the cultivars these contributed to, few additional flowers develop in the axis of the leaves. These categories however are intergrading, making it difficult to assign some of them, and the number of these parts may vary.
Within are numerous (50–160) free stamens, with anthers fixed at their base to the filaments, and are sagittate, open with longitude slits at the outer side and free pollen grains which have three slits or pores and consist of two cells. Within the circle of stamens is a more or less prominent, lobed disc, which is presumed not to excrete nectar.
Within the disk is a varying number (1-15) of separate carpels, which have a very short style and a recurrent stigma. Each of these develops into a dry fruit (which is called a follicle), which opens with a lengthwise suture and each of which contains one or a few large fleshy seeds.
These include monoterpenoidglucosides, flavonoids, tannins, solenoids, terpenoids, steroids, phenols, and phenols. About half of the species of the section Peoria however is tetraploid (4n=20), particularly many of those in the Mediterranean region.
Both allotetraploids and autotetraploids are known, and some diploid species are also of hybrid origin. Rudolph in 1830, following a suggestion by Friedrich Gottlieb Battling that same year.
The composition of the family has varied, but it has always consisted of Peoria and one or more genera that are now placed in Reinoculates. It has been widely believed that Peoria is closest to Glaucidium, and this idea has been followed in some recent works.
Molecular phylogenetic studies, however, have demonstrated conclusively that Glaucidium belongs in the family Ranunculaceae, order Reinoculates, but that Peoria belongs in the unrelated orderSaxifragales. The section Mouton is divided into P. delay and P. Ludwig, together making up the subsection Delavayanae, and P. Catalan, P. decomposing, P. jishanensis, P. OSI, P. view and P. rock ii which constitute the subsection Paginate.
P. Suffruticosa is a cultivated hybrid swarm, not a naturally occurring species. The remainder of the species belongs to the section Peoria, which is characterized by a complicated reticulated evolution.
In addition to the tetraploids, are some diploid species also likely the result of hybridization, or nothospecies. Known diploid taxa in the Peoria -section are P. anomaly, P. lactiflora, P. each, P. tenuifolia, P. emoji, P. brother, P. cambedessedesii, P. CLUSIF, P. Rhoda, P. Africa subset.
Tetraploid taxa are P. Argentina, P. officials, P. Parnassus, P. fanatic, P. Russia, P. peregrine, P. Horace, P. muscular subset. Species that have both diploid and tetraploid populations include P. CLUSIF, P. Maria and P. boat.
P. Anomala was proven to be a hybrid of P. lactiflora and P. each, although being a diploid with 10 chromosomes. P. Emodi and P. Serbian are diploid hybrids of P. lactiflora and P. each too, and radically different.
P. Peregrina is the tetraploid hybrid of P. anomaly and either P. Argentina, P. humility, P. officials, P. Parnassus or less likely P. tenuifolia, or one of their (now extinct) common ancestors. P. Broteri, P. Horace, P. CLUSIF, P. Rhoda, P. Africa subs.
One dissertation suggests the section Olympia branches off earliest. The peony is named after Paean (also spelled Paean), a student of Ascetics, the Greek god of medicine and healing.
The genus Peoria naturally occurs in the temperate and cold areas of the Northern Hemisphere. The section Olympia consist of two herbaceous species and is present in the West of North-America, P. Brownie between southern British Columbia and the Sierra Nevada in California and eastward to Wyoming and Utah, while P. California is limited to the coastal mountains of Southern and Central California.
The section Peoria, which comprises all other herbaceous species, occurs in a band stretching roughly from Morocco to Japan. One species of the section Peoria, P. anomaly, has by far the largest distribution, which is also north of the distribution of the other species: from the Kola peninsula in North-West Russia, to Lake Baikal in Siberia and South to the Then Shan Mountains of Kazakhstan.
The species around the Mediterranean include Peoria Algerians that is an endemic of the coastal mountains of Algeria, P. Horace in the RIF Mountains and Andalusia, P. cambessedesii on Majorca, P. Russo on Corsica, Sardinia and Sicily, P. Corsica on Corsica, Sardinia, the Ionian islands and in western Greece, P. CLUSIF subs. Rhodia on Rhodes, P. kesrouanensis in the Western Taurus Mountains, P. Argentina from the Middle Taurus Mountains, P. brother in Andalusia, P. humility from Andalusia to the Provence, P. officials from the South of France, through Switzerland to the Middle of Italy, P. fanatic in western Romania, northern Serbia and Slovenia and in southern Hungary, P. peregrine in Albania, western Bulgaria, northern Greece, western Romania, Serbia, Montenegro and Bosnia, while P. muscular has a large distribution from Catalonia and southern France to Israel and Turkey.
Peoria emoji occurs in the western Himalayas between Pakistan and western Nepal, P. Serbian is an endemic of southeastern Tibet, P. each grows in Central China (Qinghai, India, Gansu, Shaanxi, Shanxi, Sichuan and the eastern rim of Tibet), like P. Maria (Gansu, Guizhou, Hubei, Shaanxi, Sichuan, and Yunnan), while P. boat grows in warm-temperate to cold China, including Manchuria, Korea, Japan, Far Eastern Russia (Primarily Kari) and on Sakhalin, and P. lactiflora occurs in Northern China, including Manchuria, Japan, Korea, Mongolia, Russia (Far East and Siberia). Genetic analysis has shown that all Mediterranean species are either diploid or tetraploid hybrids that resulted from the crossbreeding of species currently limited to eastern Asia.
The large distance between the ranges of the parent species and the nothospecies suggest that hybridization already occurred relatively long ago. It is likely that the parent species occurred in the same region when the hybrids arose, and were later exterminated by successive Pleistocene glaciations, while the nothospecies remained in Refugio to the South of Europe.
During their retreat P. lactiflora and P. Maria likely became symmetric and so produced the Himalayan nothospecies P. emoji and P. Serbian. Distribution maps of the species of Peoria in Europe and Western Asia.
Peoria 'Sarah Bernhardt'Ancient Chinese texts mention the peony was used for flavoring food. Ornamental cultivars were created from plants cultivated for medicine in China as of the sixth and seventh century.
Peonies became particularly popular during the Tang dynasty, when they were grown in the imperial gardens. In the tenth century the cultivation of peonies spread through China, and the seat of the Sung dynasty, Loyang, was the center for its cultivation, a position it still holds today.
A second center for peony cultivation developed during the Qing dynasty in Lanzhou, now known as He He. Before the tenth century, P. lactiflora was introduced in Japan, and over time many varieties were developed both by self fertilization and crossbreeding, particularly during the eighteenth to twentieth centuries (middle Do to early Show periods).
Although P. officials and its cultivars were grown in Europe from the fifteenth century on, originally also for medicinal purposes, intensive breeding started only in the nineteenth century when P. lactiflora was introduced from its native China to Europe. The tree peony was introduced in Europe and planted in New Gardens in 1789.
The main center of peony breeding in Europe has been in the United Kingdom, and particularly France. Here, breeders like Victor Heroine and François Félix Course selected many new varieties, mainly with P. lactiflora, such as “Savant Garden” and “Le Printers”.
The Netherlands is the largest peony cut flower producing country with about 50 million stems each year, with “Sarah Bernhardt” dominating the sales with over 20 million stems. Herbaceous : During summer, renewal buds develop on the underground stem (the “crown”), particularly at the foot of the current season's annual shoots.
The primordial for the leaves can already be found in June, but the flower only starts differentiating in October, as the annual shoots die down, completing its development in December, when sepals, petals, stamens and pistils are all recognizable. tree : During the summer, large buds develop at the tip of the annual growth and near its foot.
In the autumn, the leaves are shed, and the new stems become woody and are perennial. Six types of flower are generally distinguished in cultivars of herbaceous peonies.
Japanese : a single or double row of broad petals encircle somewhat broadened Seminoles, may carry pollen along the edges, carpels visible. Anemone : a single or double row of broad petals encircle narrow incurred petal-like Seminoles; fertile stamens are absent, carpels visible.
Herbaceous and Itch peonies are propagated by root division, and sometimes by seed. Herbaceous peonies such as Peoria lactiflora, will die back to ground level each autumn.
In China, the fallen petals of Peoria lactiflora are parboiled and sweetened as a tea-time delicacy. Peonies are also extensively grown as ornamental plants for their very large, often scented flowers.
Along with the plum blossom, it is a traditional floral symbol of China, where the Peoria suffruticosa is called (Sudan). In 1903, the Qing dynasty declared the peony as the national flower.
Currently, the Republic of China government in Taiwan designates the plum blossom as the national flower, while the People's Republic of China government has no legally designated national flower. In 2003, another selection process was initiated, but no choice has been made to date.
The ancient Chinese city Loyang has a reputation as a cultivation center for the peonies. Throughout Chinese history, peonies in Loyang have been said to be the finest in the country.
Dozens of peony exhibitions and shows are still held there annually. In the Middle Ages, peonies were often painted with their ripe seed-capsules, since it was the seeds, not the flowers, which were medically significant.
Ancient superstition dictated that great care be taken not to be seen by a woodpecker while picking the plant's fruit, or the bird might peck out one's eyes. Mischievous nymphs were said to hide in the petals of the Peony, giving it the meaning of Shame or Bashfulness in the Language of Flowers.
While the peony takes several years to re-establish itself when moved, it blooms annually for decades once it has done so. Peonies tend to attract ants to the flower buds.
This is due to the nectar that forms on the outside of the flower buds, and is not required for the plants' own pollination or other growth. The presence of ants is thought to provide some deterrence to other harmful insects though, so the production of ant-attracting nectar is plausibly a functional adaptation.
The popular use of peonies in Japanese tattoo was inspired by the Unicode artist Tarawa Kuniyoshi's illustrations of Suicide, a classical Chinese novel. His paintings of warrior-heroes covered in pictorial tattoos included lions, tigers, dragons, KOI fish, and peonies, among other symbols.
The peony became a masculine motif, associated with a devil-may-care attitude and disregard for consequence. “An update of the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group classification for the orders and families of flowering plants: APG II” (PDF).
^ The Concise Oxford English Dictionary (twelfth edition, 2011) lists 'peony' as a variant spelling of 'peony'. “The number of known plants species in the world and its annual increase”.
^ Dayan, Hong; Kiev, Pan; Garland, Nicholas J. “Herbaceous Peony (Peoria): Genetics, Physiology and Cut Flower Production” (PDF).
^ The industry's about to explode': Peony market flourishes in Alaska”. CS1 main: uses authors parameter (link) ^ He, C.-N.; Peng, Y.; Zhang, Y.-C.; EU, L.-J.
“A Checklist of Family and Supra familial Names for Extant Vascular Plants.” At: Home page of James L. Reveal and C. Rose Brooke.
^ Wang, Wei; Lu, An-Ming; Men, I; Endless, Mary E.; Chen, Zhi-Duan (2009). “Phylogeny and Classification of Reinoculates: Evidence from four molecular loci and morphological data”.
^ a b Jean, Huang; Solis, Pamela S. ; Gitzendanner, Matthew A.; Moore, Michael J.; Li, Room; Hendry, Tory A.; AIU, Yin-Long; Bhangra, Amit; Bell, Charles D.; Solis, Douglas E. (2008). ^ a b Hi, Li Jing; Wang, QI; Teixeira da Silva, Jaime A.; You, Ciao Nan (2012).
“Documentation of reticulated evolution in peonies (Peoria) using internal transcripted spacer sequences of nuclear ribosomal DNA: Implications for biogeography and concerted evolution”. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America.
“Evolution of alcohol dehydrogenase genes in peonies (Peoria): phylogenetic relationships of putative nonhybrid species”. ^ Flowers in Greek Mythology, VALENTINE floral creations.
^ The Language of Flowers, edited by Sheila Pickles, 1990 ^ “HPS Frequently Asked Questions: Ants on Peonies ". AL Camellia, Oak-leaf hydrangea WF AK Forget-me-not AZ Saguaro cactus blossom AR Apple blossom CA California poppy CO Rocky Mountain columbine CT Mountain laurel, Miracles Xalapa CH DE Peach blossom FL Orange blossom, Tick seed WF GA Azalea WF, Cherokee rose FE HI Hawaiian hibiscus ID Syringe, mock orange IL Violet, Milkweed IN Peony IA Wild prairie rose KS Sunflower KY Goldenrod LA Magnolia, Louisiana iris WF ME White pine cone and tassel MD Black-eyed Susan MA Mayflower MI Apple blossom, Dwarf lake iris WF MN Pink and white lady's slipper MS Magnolia, Tick seed WF MO Hawthorn MT Bitterroot NE Goldenrod NV Sagebrush NH Purple lilac, Pink lady's slipper WF NJ Violet NM Yucca flower NY Rose NC Flowering dogwood, Carolina lily WF ND Wild prairie rose OH Scarlet carnation, Large white trillium WF OK Oklahoma rose, Indian blanket WF, Mistletoe FE OR Oregon grape PA Mountain laurel, Penn gift crown vetch BC RI Violet SC Yellow examine, Goldenrod WF SD Basque flower TN Iris, Purple passionflower WF, Tennessee coneflower WF TX Bluebonnet SP.