WHAT IS PAEONIA BANATICA ROCHEL?
By Prof. R. Soó
INSTITUTE FOR PLANT TAXONOMY AND ECOLOGY. UNIVERSITY OF BUDAPEST
(Received December 12, 1959)
In my opinion P. banatica Rochel PI. Banat. Rar. 48 tab. 11. (1828) is a homogenous taxon which belongs to the "Formenkreis" of P. officinalis even if some specimens occasionally are suggestive of P. mascula (P. corallina). The apical leaflets of P. banatica consist namely almost invariably of 23 lobes or 23 segments, and are very seldom entire, while the lateral leaves are as a rule entire. This is particularly true for the plants of the sandy steppe of Deliblat (rochel's locus classicus) and the Mecsek Mountain, whereas on the specimens of Bazias the medial leaves are often entire, rarely with 23 lobes; for the most part both shapes of leaf can be found. The shape and width of the leaves and leaflets are very variable. The picture in rochel's book represents a typical specimen in natural size, whose medial leaflets, with the exception of one, are tripartite, even one of the lateral leaflets of the basal leaves is bipartite. The leaves may in nature be narrower or wider than in the picture. Also the picture refers to the Formenkreis of P. officinalis. Some terms of the original description e. g. foliolis... subtus arachnoideo-incanis are not always valid. Its loci classic! are "Bielo-Berdo" and "Ulma", on the sandy steppe of Deliblat.
Geographical distribution of P. banatica :
1. Hungary, Mecsek Mountain: "Zengo" and "Hármashegy", between the villages Pecs-varad and Hosszúhetény. Discoverer: kitaibel (Addit. p. 184). Published by: janka (Öst. Bot. Zeitschr. 1866. 398;, majeb (Gimn. Ért. 1859, Pécs: Fünfkirchen, 31), nendtvich (ap. kerner Zool. Bot. Ges. 1853. 567, 571), simonkai (Math. Term. tud. Közl. IX. 179), horvát (Term. tud. Közl. 1924. 66, Gimn. Ért. 1934, Pécs 10, Mecsek flórája 72 etc.); it was collected also by javorka, Soó, Z. karpati, papp, baksay, J. szujko. Number of the specimens examined: 8. The medial leaves are bi- or tripartite, only two leaves are entire. Dimensions of the leaves; 816 cm long, (1.5) 2.55 (78) cm wide, varying between narrowly lanceolate and ovate-lanceolate. (Dimensions: 1.5,1.8, 2.0, 2.2, 2.5 X 8 cm, 2.3, 2.5, 3.1, 3.5 X 9 cm, 3.5 X 10 cm, 3 X 11 cm, 3.0, 4.0 X 12 cm, 3.0, 3.5, 4.5 X 13 cm, 4.0, 6.0, 7.0 X 14 cm, 7.5, 8.0 X 16cm).
2. Hungary, comitat Somogy (kit. in Host Flora Austr. II. 63). Dubious.
3. Yugoslavia, Syrmia, Fruska Gora Mountain: Cerevic (Schneller Verb. Pressbg. Ver. Naturk. IV. 80). I have not seen any specimens.
4. Yugoslavia, Banat, sandy steppe of Deliblat: Deliblato. Discoverer: rochel. Published by Ulma (rochel PI. Banat. Rar. 48), Grebenac (wiebzbicki Flora 1840. 368, heuffel Enum. pi. Banat. 13), "Susara" (wiebzb. I.e.), "Korn" (PAN6lC Ost. Bot. Zeitschr. 1867. 82, bobbas Homokp. 91, wagnek Erdeszeti Kfserl. 1913. ,280), "Flamunda" (wagner I.e.). Collected by Ulma-Mramorak (simonkai ap. tatab Acta Bot. Hung. II. 83), Flamunda (hollós, degen, javorka and timko ap. tatar I.e.), "Fontina fetje" (degen ap. tatar I.e.), Deliblat (muller ap. tatar I.e.), further thaisz (Deliblat), tl'zson (Fehertelep). Number of the specimens examined: 20.
The leaves of rochels originals (5 herb. papers!) are comparatively narrow, 1.83.5 cm wide, 6.511 cm long, the medial leaf, very exceptionally one or even both extreme leaflets bi- or tripartite. Further specimens from the collections of wierzbicki, heuffel, müller, tuzson, wagner, Hollós, javobka and Timkó. Medial leaves bi- or tripartite, very seldom entire, (1.5) 24 (5) cm wide, 611 cm long, narrowly lanceolate to broad lanceolate, basal leaves broad ovate. Dimensions: 2.5 X 6.5 cm, 3x8 cm, 2.0, 2.5, 3.0, 3.5, 4.0 X 9 cm, 2.0 X 3.0 X 9.5 cm, 3.0, 3.5, 4.0, 4.5 X 10 cm, 3.0 X 11.5 cm, 2.5, 3.5, 5.5 X 11 cm, 4.0 X 12 cm. In 3 out of 20 specimens there were entire medial leaflets.
5. Rumania, Banat, Bazias (near the Monastery and in the forest). Discoverer: rochel. Published by heuffel (I.e. 13), borbas (I.e. 91), bernatsky Bot. Kozl. 1902. 31, javorka and TlMK.6 Fl. Exs. Hung. No. 739, collected also by wierzbicki, bohatsch, simoxkai, seymann, wagner, lindauer, degen, ap. tatar I.e.). Number of specimens examined: 20. Medial leaves entire or bipartite (very often on the leaves of the same specimen), in 5 out of the 20 specimens examined only entire, in 3 only divided, in the others mixed. It is a population with rather broad and large leaves. Leaves (1.8) 2.55 (6) cm wide, 6.513 cm long, narrowly lanceolate to ovate lanceolate and oblong respectively. Dimensions: 2.0 X 6.5 cm,
1.8, 2.0, 2.5, 2.8 x 7 cm, 2.0, 3.0 X 7.5 cm, 2.0, 2.0, 2.2, 2.5, 3.0 X 8 cm, 3.5 X 8.5 cm, 2.0,
2.5, 3.0, 3.5, 4.5, 5.0 X 9 cm, 3.0. 3.5, 4.0, 5.0 X 10 cm, 3.5, 4.0, 4.5, 5.0 X 12 cm, 3.5, 4.5, 6.0 X 13 cm.
6. Rumania, Lugos (Borb. Öst. Bot. Zeitschr. 1892. 286, Huth Engler's Jahrb. XIV. 270), incorrect, instead of Deliblat.
7. Rumania, Orsova (Haynald's Herb.), surely erroneous, instead of Bazias. Basal leaves everywhere broader, ovate or ovate-oblong, 45 X 8 X 10 cm.
It is hardly possible to state the number of the leaflets as the lower leaves are in most cases missing. The hairs of the leaves are variable, below with very little, short hairs or becoming glabrous.
P. banatica differs both in its habit and the partition of its leaves from the typical P. officinalis, whose lateral leaves, too, are generally divided into 24 segments, on the specimens from South-Tyrol examined by myself (cf. Herb. Norm. 3501, FEAH. 90, from the collections of Andreanszky, Behrendsen, Foletto, Porta, Rigo, chiefly from Monte Baldo and Val di Ledro), leaves 2,0, 2,5, 3 cm wide and 611 cm long. It differs likewise from P. officinalis ssp. peregrina, with the specimens of which originating from Spain I compared it (cf. Herb. Norm. 3005, Baenitz PI. Eur. 5903, from the collections of Reverchon, Derben, Pons), their leaves are divided to a larger extent with narrow leaflets. It can be still less identified with P. mascula (P. corallina) whose leaflets are wide, elliptic, ovate or orbicular and all entire.
Thus we cannot share in Nyárády's opinion who takes the plant of Bazias partly to P. corallina Retz (P. mascula Mill.) and describes a form of it with broad ovate or nearly roundish leaves by the name var. triternatiformis (which as an extreme variety may remain in the Formenkreis of P. banatica) p. 403 , partly to P. officinalis p. 407 . He mentions here as new habitats Lugos, Bazias (surely instead of Bazias) and Dumbravita (Kisdombró) from the district of Belényes; these habitats are even in his own opinion dubious. According to Nyárády the leaves of the plant from Deliblat are 34 times, while those from Bazias 1,42(3) times as long as wide. The great number of the data quoted above shows that this ratio is varying in both habitats.
Also in the manuscript elaboration of the Flora Europaea the plant of Bazias (though this is no locus classicus!) approaches partly to the P. officinalis, partly to the P. mascula, not excluding the possibility that at Bazias hybridization has taken place between the spontaneous and some introduced species, cultivated in the Monastery Garden. On the other hand, in my unchanged opinion, P. banatica is varying but remains within the above indicated limits of variation a uniform population which, although it is partly suggestive with its entire and broader leaves to a certain extent of P. mascula, it belongs, however, to the Formenkreis of P. officinalis with the nearly always divided leaflets of the upper leaves and its whole build, and constitutes the endemic, vicariant subspecies of that species in the Bánság district, in the Mecsek and Fruska-Gora Mountains; thus its correct name is:
P. officinalis L. (s. 1.) ssp. banatica Soó Növényföldrajz 1945 p. 146. (P. peregrina var. ban. Kittel 1844, P.feminea var. ban. Gürke 1903, P. off. var. ban. Graebn. 1923, Hayek 1924). The data from Macedonia and the Lesbos island are undoubtedly concerning another plant.
1. Huth Engler's Bot. Jahrb. XIV. 270. 1891.
2. Graebner in A. et Gb. Synopsis V. 2. 556. 1923.
3. Nyárády in Flora RPR. II. 400108. 1953.
4. Tatár in Acta Geob. Hung. II. 8293. 1938.