Paeonia daurica

Wild plant on site, Orjen mountains, Montenegro (Paeonia daurica ssp. Daurica )

The Crimean peony ( Paeonia daurica ) is a plant of the genus peonies (Paeonia ) in the family of peony plants ( Paeoniaceae ). It comes with six subspecies in the mountains of the Western Balkans to north - Iran before. The largest leaves of all Peonies has it Paeonia daurica subsp. macrophylla from the Transcaucasus. The Crimean peony is related to the coral peony ( Paeonia mascula ) close.

  • 2.1 dissemination
  • 2.2 Synsoziologie
  • 3.1 Paeonia daurica subsp. daurica: Crimean peony
  • 3.2 Paeonia daurica subsp. coriifolia ( Rupr. ) D.Y. Hong: Caucasus peony
  • 3.3 Paeonia daurica subsp. macrophylla ( Albov ) D.Y. Hong
  • 3.4 Paeonia daurica subsp. mlokosewitschii ( Lomakin ) D.Y. Hong: Mlokosewitschs peony
  • 3.5 Paeonia daurica subsp. tomentosa ( Lomakin ) D.Y. Hong
  • 3.6 Paeonia daurica subsp. wittmanniana ( Hartwiss ex Lindl. ) D.Y. Hong: Wittmann's Peony


Vegetative characteristics

The Crimean peony is a perennial herbaceous plant. Among the features of the species Paeonia daurica include the slightly thickened, fleshy roots. It has two fold split leaves nine leaf segments ( in P. mascula 10 to 13), rarely three times divided sheets then up to 19 with sheet segments; the leaves are ovate, oblong or obovate and more than 3 cm wide. The leaves can be smooth or hairy strong and vary considerably in size.

Generative features

The flowers are individually without or with up to two bracts. The flowers contain two to three sepals, five to eight petals and numerous stamens. The Art Complex Paeonia daurica varies in color of the petals, shape and size of the leaves and the indumentum of the leaves and carpels. There are forms with pink, yellow, white and red flowers.

Evolution and Ecology

During the Quaternary ice age, it has come through geographical isolation of individual populations of Paeonia for genetic narrowing of the origin of the clan of Paeonia daurica. A process of hybridization by crossing related species has so to not over yet performed speciation. The subspecies of Paeonia therefore dauricasind also too variable to lift the basis of clear diacritical features to the rank of species. The described in great abundance Mediterranean peony ( P. mascula, P. officinalis, P. cambessedessi, P. corsica, P. daurica, P. peregrina, P. clusii, saueri Paeonia, Paeonia broteroi, banatica Paeonia, Paeonia arietina ) whose Radiation tart goes by hybridization processes, makes a demarcation of the type and subtype difficult. Only molecular biological methods can now be a better distinction. Here, the hybrid origin of the Mediterranean peony has been clearly demonstrated.

P. daurica is typically Mediterranean, since they inhabited humid mountains ( Orjen, Caucasus). The very large leaves ( subsp. wittmanniana subsp. Macrophylla subsp. Tomentosa ) would be unfavorable for Trockenklimate. Mediterranean Peonies usually have narrow leaves developed ( P. clusii, P. peregrina ). More hairy forms of Crimean peony as mlokosewitschii and tomentosa, however, have developed a stronger protection against dehydration. You should also be in full sun in the garden.


The natural habitat of Paeonia daurica (including all its sub- types ) are subtropical mountains of the Balkans, the Caucasus and Transcaucasus and North of Iran ( Alborz Mountains).

Sites are mostly subalpine and alpine altitude levels ( subsp. mlokosewitschii subsp. Wittmanniana subsp. Tomentosa subsp. Macrophylla), but often also within montane mixed forests of oak and fir-beech mixed forests ( subsp. coriifolia subsp. Mlokosewitschii, daurica ss). Paeonia daurica subsp. wittmanniana and Paeonia daurica sensu stricto can be found mostly on limestone. Therefore, Paeonia daurica sensu stricto in karst mountains of the Crimea and the Balkans an element sub-Mediterranean shrub and scrubland companies in ( Orjen ) as well as in the Dinaric karst blockfields - fir forest.

Populations are mostly distributed on a small scale and can be composed of several hundred individuals. Some subspecies are endangered. The population of Crimea is on the red list of endangered species Ukraine. The distribution is generally still insufficiently documented, as it historically often came to misinterpretation of P. mascula and P. daurica.


The Mediterranean population of Paeonia daurica in Orjen is investigated. Characteristic is the montane distribution within thermophilic beech forests with structurally unstable expression on heavily karstified and block-rich layer stairs. Windward slope and shelter from the bora storms are a prerequisite for ecological ecological niches. The accompanying species are mostly attributable to Hochstaudenfluren with a significant proportion of locally endemic forms ( Cattani - lily, iris and Dalmatian Orjen iris). Paeonia daurica occurs both within forests and on open spaces in Kalkfelsspalten in Orjen. Rather humid and semi-shaded locations are preferred locations. The species-rich mixed forests with a high proportion of tertiary relics are also outstanding Biozönösen, suggesting an advanced age. This type of open rocky woods is certainly a tertiary known forest form that preserves the higher species richness compared to structurally stable closed beech forests until today. The dendroflora Peony forests also shows with summer linden, hazel tree, snakeskin pine, white fir, mountain maple and many shrubs a subtropical humid, and thermophilic form of European montane forest types.

Lianas are very characteristic within the peony forests due to their strong competitiveness. Even the major forbs are used and overgrown by them as a carrier.


During the Pleistocene ice age occurred due to climatic fluctuations in the Mediterranean for intensive horizontal and vertical migration of many plant taxa. The today mainly tetraploid peonies in the mountains in the Mediterranean are therefore usually of hybrid origin. The difficulty to differentiate the abundance of hybridization caused by various forms of peonies, has contributed to taxonomic synonymy and controversial classifications of the genus.

Thus, the Crimean peony in 1807 described daurica by Henry Charles Andrews as Paeonia, but there is also the Artsynonym Paeonia triternata Pall. ; next to it was also as a subspecies of the large-leaved peony under the name Paeonia mascula subsp. triternata viewed. This is still common name is scientifically still a synonym. P. daurica is indeed closely related to P. mascula, but has enough originality to bear its own species status. Differences in the number of chromosomes (2n = 10 in P. daurica, whereas 2n = 20 in P. mascula ) morphologically and a number of diacritical features corroborate this idea.

Difficult conditions in the complex are the various Caucasian- Near Eastern peonies. For them, the taxonomic species concept in the past was often taken far. Almost every individual population has been described as a separate species. By unstable trait variation ( polymorphism ) are former after a thorough revision of the group regarded as separate species only subspecies of Paeonia daurica.

The controversial discussion of the subspecies complex of Paeonia daurica has brought a variety of different treatment of the species. While even Paeonia daurica sensu stricto has long been considered only as a subspecies of Paeonia mascula (Paeonia mascula subsp. Triternata ), the Caucasian representatives of the complex are often described due to minimal differences as completely separate species. Thus, each individual population was practically raised in the species status. Thus came Kemularia - Nathadze 1961 in a revision of the complex Paeonia daurica on 9 species. According to recent findings and other taxonomic understanding, which takes into account the considerable polymorphism of the group, only a single species is to defend. This Paeonia daurica a species with six recognized geographical subspecies.

Paeonia daurica subsp. daurica: Crimean peony

This is the nominate form; Synonyms are Paeonia triternata, P. macula subsp. triternata, P. corallina subsp. triternata.

The leaves are oblong (round), at the edge unduliert ( corrugated); the apex is round, the flower color pink. The nominate is common on limestone in mixed forests of the Crimea, the Carpathians in southern Romania, the Southeast and in the Dinarides Orjen Pindus in northern Greece at altitudes 1000-1500 m. Diploid 2n = 10

Paeonia daurica subsp. coriifolia ( Rupr. ) D.Y. Hong: Caucasus peony

Synonyms are Paeonia caucasica, P. and P. ruprechtiana kavachensis.

The leaves are zovat ( egg-shaped ); they are glabrous or with slightly villoser hair. The color is dark red. This subspecies is common in mixed deciduous forests of the Western Caucasus below 1000 m above sea level. Diploid 2n = 10

Paeonia daurica subsp. macrophylla ( Albov ) D.Y. Hong

A synonym is Paeonia macrophylla.

This subspecies has the largest leaves of all peonies. Villose or pillose Indumetum of the leaves; the carpels ( carpels ), however, are hairless (almost all other subspecies have hairy carpels ). This subspecies is montane, subalpine and alpine widespread in the northwestern Turkey and southwestern Georgia ( Adjara ). Tetraploid 2n = 20

Paeonia daurica subsp. mlokosewitschii ( Lomakin ) D.Y. Hong: Mlokosewitschs peony

Synonyms are Paeonia mlokosewitschii and P. lagodechiana.

The leaves are obovate to round and hairy strong puberlous on the bottom. The flower color is yellow, white, sometimes with red basal spot. This subspecies is widespread in the Central Caucasus in mixed forests above 1000 m asl. Diploid 2n = 10

Paeonia daurica subsp. tomentosa ( Lomakin ) D.Y. Hong

A synonym is Paeonia tomentosa.

The leaves of this subspecies are hairy villos and / or pillos on the underside; the petals are pale yellow with reddish Basalflecken; the carpels are usually densely hairy tomentos. The subspecies is widespread in the eastern Caucasus in Azerbaijan and northern Iran ( Alborz Mountains). Tetraploid 2n = 20

Paeonia daurica subsp. wittmanniana ( Hartwiss ex Lindl. ) D.Y. Hong: Wittmann's Peony

Synonyms are Paeonia wittmaniana and P. steveniana.

This subspecies has large leaves that are glabrous or hairy pillos or villos. The carpels are glabrous, the flower color is white. The home of this subspecies is located in the western Caucasus (Georgia and Abkhazia ) in mixed forests at altitudes between ( 800 ) 1200 and 2200 m above sea level. Tetraploid 2n = 20

Curative effect

Paeonia daurica is reported in Turkey as a medicinal plant. The fleshy roots contain large amounts of monoterpenoid and acetophenone derivatives.


The Crimean peony is used as an ornamental plant. In particular, the yellow-flowered subspecies Paeonia daurica subsp. mlokosewitschii ( Mlokosewitschs Caucasus peony ) is a popular game species, the peonies of GdS among the winners is in all surveys of the Section.

All forms of Paeonia daurica suitable for garden design. The höherwüchsigen subspecies (Paeonia daurica subsp. Tomentosa, Paeonia daurica subsp. Wittmanniana, Paeonia daurica subsp. Macrophylla) are beautiful solitaire perennials for shady locations in the garden, while the subspecies Paeonia daurica subsp. coriifolia, Paeonia daurica subsp. mlokosewitschii and Paeonia daurica subsp. daurica well suited for the rock garden and alpine garden. Suitable partner of the Crimean peony are Irises, as the bleach iris (Iris pallida ) and the German Iris or bearded iris (Iris germanica, also the variety Iris germanica var florentina ), but also larkspur, forget- me-not, ferns and grasses. Suitable accompanying shrubs are cultivars of the ordinary snowball ( Viburnum opulus ) and Witch Hazel Hamamelis virginiana kind. As an element of the cottage garden effect fruit trees ( plum, apple) together with peonies particularly well. You can also planted beside a picket fence can create beautiful effect. A uniform grouping of the same species and only smooth color transitions are better than strong contrasts. So white and yellow peonies always work better than red and white. The red, pink and dark red shapes should be planted as possible not alone.


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