F.C. Stern A Study of the Genus Paeonia

20. P.kesrouanensis Thiebaut, Fl. Libano-Syr. I. (in Mem. Soc. Inst. Egypte, 31) 37 (1936); F.C.Stern in Journ. Roy. Hort. Soc. 68, 125 (1943).Syn. P.corallina Retz. var. kesrouanensis Thiebaut in Bull. Soc. Bot. France, 81, 114 (1934).

Description. Stem 40-60 cm. high, fide Thiebaut, glabrous. Lower leaf 28-5 cm. long, including the 7-5 cm. long petiole, bitemate, but the terminal set of three leaflets is augmented by two small extra lateral leaflets, and the terminal leaflet of the lateral sets is bifurcate or trifurcate, giving a total of 14 leaflets in the leaf examined. The terminal set of leaflets is on a relatively long common petiolule 9-2 cm. long, the lateral sets are on common petiolules 2.5-3 cm. long ; leaflets broad elliptic or oblong-oval to ovate-oval, subacute to obtuse, varying from 6.5-10.3 cm. long by 3-5-5-6 cm. wide and cuneate at the base (the terminals, and laterals of the terminal set) to 3.5-5.9 cm. long by 2.3-5 cm. wide and truncate at the base (the laterals of the lateral sets, and the extra laterals of the terminal set), glabrous, dark green above, paler (subglaucous) beneath with the venation clearly visible, the midrib and veins being purplish ; petiolules of terminal leaflets i -8-3-2 cm. long, of laterals 3-5 mm. long, the extra laterals sessile. Flowers about 10 cm. across. Petals narrowly obovate to obovate, rounded, 5-6 cm. long, 2.3-3 cm. wide, rose. Stamens about 1-5 cm. long, filaments reddish (?), anthers yellow. Carpels 2 (sometimes 1 fide Thiebaut), about i -8 cm. long and overtopping the stamens, glabrous, the ovary narrowly flask-shaped and tapering into a long narrow undulate crimson style and stigma which is about 7 mm. long and recurved only at the very apex. Follicles not seen.

The above description has been made from authentic specimens collected by M. Thiebaut and kindly communicated by him.

Distribution. syria : on the western side of Lebanon, at Feitroun (Kesrouan), about 25 kilom. north-east of Beirut; Lebanon, Feitroun (fide Thiebaut) ; Djebel Ansarieh, solo calcareo, in dumetis Querc. Cerris., c. noo m.s.m., 1933, Samuelson 5/05 (Riksmuseet Stockholm); Gassius, Cheik Keui (20 kilom. south of Antioch), solo calcareo, in macchiis, c. 500 m.s.m., 1933, Samuelson 7085 (Riksmuseet Stockholm).

P. kesrouanensis was discovered by J. Thiebaut. The leaves are very like those of P.mascula but it differs in having glabrous carpels and in the long stigma about 7 mm. in length and only coiled at the extreme apex. These characters so differentiate it from P.mascula that it has been kept as a separate species. [end page 73]