Paeonia × chameleon was RE: Maryland update

Jim McKenney
Thu, 01 Mar 2007 14:55:05 PST


-----Original Message-----
From: []
On Behalf Of JamieV.
Sent: Thursday, March 01, 2007 4:15 PM
To: Pacific Bulb Society
Subject: Re: [pbs] Paeonia × chameleon was RE: Maryland update


Jim McKenney schrieb:

> Now I have some questions and comments on your post, Jamie. It's good to

> learn that Paeonia x chamaeleon germinates quickly. Here's the question:

> does it germinate in epigeal or hypogeal fashion?


Definitely hypogeal, displaying a three-lobed leaf in its first Spring, 

assuming it was planted directly after ripening.  I have saved seed over 

the Winter (big mistake) and it takes another year to get them to germinate.

> The parentage you gave for 'Athena' is slightly different than the one I

> used to seeing. What I have read is this, which is more probable than the

> one you gave (and rightly doubted!): lactiflora x [officinalis x

> (mlokosewitschii x macrophylla)]. 



I prefer your parentage order, as this makes better sense.  Mloko x 

macro is clearly possible, but , even when we consider all of the 

variations now under P. daurica, only crosses with P. lactiflora seem 

well known, although P. 'Pageant is an P. officianalis X (P. lactiflora 

x P. macrophylla), which is then similar to your version of P. 'Athena's 

parents and P. 'Roselette (Saunders 1943) is listed as P. lactiflora X 

(P officianals x P. macrophylla).  Saunders was apparently always 

'pushing the envelope' as he lists complex parentage, but not always the 

order of the cross.  He even crossed P. emodi x P. lactiflora, which I 

have tried but never got it to take.

> I'm not aware of any successful crosses between Paeonia officinalis and P.

> mlokosewitschii. Are there any? 


Reconsidering the question, it should work, as they are both diploids.

> I went back to the wiki to see your image of 'Athena' but it's not there

> the peony page and I didn't see it in /files either. Perhaps you can post

> again?



I tried to re-load it, but my password didn't work.  Gotta get a hold of 

Mary Sue!

> In a sense I'm glad that it was not there: now it is easier to believe

> two people have independently traveled down this little known path!



I am truly fascinated by Paeonia, there is a certain primitive beauty 

about them, the way they dare to grow before the snow is gone.  I often 

ask myself how these ancient plants developed, as we do have tetraploid 

populations where one would expect only diploids.  I did read a theory, 

where it was proposed that during the last ice age most of the northern 

diploids were wiped out and the few surviving tetraploids, which are 

relatively common near the poles, followed the melting glaciers to 

replace the missing diploids.  This would explain the entire P. mascula 

complex, which is tetraploid and well distibuted in Russia through to 



I have a cross of P. xChamaeleon x P. kavachensis, which may lend 

support to the idea that kavachensis is a true species.  It should be a 

tetraploid, if it does belong to the mascula group, now shouldn't it?




PS: have you managed seed on P. japonica?









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