Flower shapes

Peonies are classified according to flower form. There are several groups in which peonies can be divided:

  • The lactifora-group is one of the most important groups of herbaceous peonies. They all have the same ancestor; Paeonia lactiflora. This plant grew originally in China and was exported to Europe later. This group can be separated in 8 different sub-varieties depending the flower, which varies from single flowered to full-filled:
    The single variety, these have most of the time a single row of 5 till10 petals. The heart exists of functional stamen. For example: Athena, Crinkled White, Scarlet O'Hara.
    The Japanese variety, these have huge outer petals with also stamen. These stamens, which often contain yellow anthers and filaments, are getting broader. For example: Nippon Beauty, Madame Butterfly.
    The anemone variety, this variety is again one step further. The filaments became even wider. The anthers are disappeared. These filaments fill partly the heart of the flower. There are also the center petals; they are still narrow and short. For example: Doreen en Gay Paree.
    The semi double variety, the filaments have widened irregularly. The center petals can be yet clearly differentiated. For example: Paula Fay, Coral Charm, Miss America.
    The crown variety, The heart has two sorts of pataloïds. The broad filaments and the differentiated center petals. These two form together a ball. For example: Big Ben en Monsieur Jules Elie.
    The bomb variety, the petaloïds became broader and higher. The outer petals are still visible. For example: Red Charm, Raspberry Sundae.
    The semi-rose variety, the outer petals can no longer be distinguished clearly. Some of the petaloïds aren’t large enough. For example: Shirley Temple, Elsa Sass.
    The rose (full double) variety, which is a full-filled flower. All filaments and center petals have changed and all look like petals. For example: Gardenia, Kansas.
  • De Wittmanniana-group comprises peonies originating from the Caucasus. These are all single flowers and flower early. Paeonia Mlokosewitschii and Paeonia Wittmanniana’s flowers are a light yellow color. The flowers are not suitable for cutting. They are also very rare and therefore very expensive.
  • The Officinalis-group constitutes a large number of peony varieties with single and double-flowered blooms. It comprehends the most important sorts comprising the farmer’’ peony and has been extensively hybridized. They grew, by origin, in South Europe and West Asia.
  • The Anomone-group consists of plants with delicate foliage. The group grows in a large area ranging from the Ural (West-Russia), the Kola-peninsula (in the north of Russia), the Tien-chain (Kazakhstan) to the West Gobi dessert (Mongolia). This variety flowers at the end of the spring till the beginning of the summer.
  • The Suffruticosa group, also known as tree peony. This sort cannot survive in cold winters. In the winter it will lose its foliage. The plant needs a warm place.
  • The Itoh group exists of peonies, which are a hybrid of the yellow tree peony with a Paeonia lactiflora. The hybrid produces exceptionally fine flowers. For example: Bartzella. 







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