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FOC | Family List | FOC Vol. 6 | Paeoniaceae | Paeonia

11. Paeonia lactiflora Pallas, Reise Russ. Reich. 3: 286. 1776.

芍药 shao yao

Paeonia lactiflora

Credit: Tatyana Shulkina

Paeonia albiflora Pallas; P. albiflora Pallas var. trichocarpa Bunge; P. chinensis Vilmorin (1870), not Oken (1841); P. lactiflora var. trichocarpa (Bunge) Stern; P. lactiflora var. villosa M. S. Yan & K. Sun; P. sinensis Steudel; P. yui W. P. Fang.

Herbs perennial, to 70 cm tall. Roots thick, attenuate toward tip, to 1.3 cm in diam. Stems glabrous. Proximal leaves 2-ternate; all leaflets decurrent at base, terminal ones often 2- or 3-segmented; leaflets and segments up to 15, lanceolate or ovate-lanceolate, 4.5--16 × 1.5--4.8 cm, sparsely pubescent abaxially, bristly along veins adaxially, margin white cartilaginous denticulate, apex acuminate. Flowers usually several per shoot, both terminal and axillary, sometimes only terminal one developed, single (in wild plants) or double (in cultivated plants), 8--13 cm wide. Bracts 4 or 5, lanceolate, unequal. Sepals 3 or 4, broadly ovate or suborbicular, 1--1.5 × 1--1.7 cm. Petals 9--13, white or pink (in wild plants), or varying in color (in cultivated plants), obovate, 3.5--6 × 1.5--4.5 cm. Filaments yellow, 0.7--1.2 cm; anthers yellow. Disc yellow, annular. Carpels 2--5, green or purple, glabrous or rarely tomentose. Follicles oblong-ellipsoid, 2.5--3 × 1.2--1.5 cm. Fl. May--Jun, fr. Aug. 2n = 10.

Woods, grasslands; 400--2300 m. S Gansu, Hebei, Heilongjiang, Jilin, Liaoning, Nei Mongol, S Ningxia, Shaanxi, Shanxi [Japan, Korea, Mongolia, Russia (Far East, Siberia)].

This species is widely cultivated as an ornamental and for medicinal use.


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