F.C. Stern A Study of the Genus Paeonia

32. P.coriacea var. atlantica (Cosson) F. C. Stern, comb. noo. mJourn. Roy. Hort. Soc. 68, 128 (1943).Syn. P.algeriensis Chabert in Bull. Soc. Bot. France, 36, 18 (1889). P.atlantica Kralik ex Trabut in ibid. 62 (1889), nom. nud.P.corallina var. atlantica Cosson, ComP.Fl. Atlant. 2, 54 (1883-87) ; Battandier & Trabut, Fl. Anal. Syn. Algerie Tunisie, 13 (1902).P.Russi Biv. sec. Munby, Cat. PI. Alger. Ed. 2, P.i (1866) ; Letoumeux, Etude Bot. Kabylie Jurjura, 25 (1871) ; non Biv.P.Russi var. coriacea (Boiss.) Cosson ex Battandier & Trabut, Fl. Alger. 18 (1888), pro parte, excl. typ.

Description. Differs from P.coriacea by the greater size of its leaflets, which are pubescent on the lower surface, and by its pubescent petioles.

Distribution. Woods on the hills in Algeria at 1300-1900 metres. algeria : Kabylia, Mt. Tababor, Kralik 99 (K) ; sine loc. Letoumeux (K). Prov. Constantine, Adghar Amellal to the east of Chabet-el-Akra, Cosson (K); Djebel Babor, Cosson (K).

The herbarium specimens of P.coriacea var. atlantica at Edinburgh and Kew do not appear to differ from the majority of the specimens of P.coriacea except that the leaflets of the variety are larger and carry white hairs which are plainly visible on the under surface of the leaflets and on the petioles. This character appears to be constant in all the specimens from Algeria.

P.coriacea is entirely glabrous and the Algerian plant only differs from it by this hairiness of the back of the leaves ; a character which does not seem to be sufficient to raise it to specific rank. The varietal name given by Cosson has, therefore, been kept. P.coriacea growing in Morocco does not differ from the typical plants from Spain.

P.coriacea var. atlantica has been confused with P.Russi var. Reverchoni. These paeonies are alike in having both glabrous carpels and hairs on the underside of the leaves, but P.coriacea var. atlantica has more leaflets than P.Russi var. Reverchoni, fourteen to sixteen against nine usually present in the latter plant. The leaflets also are of a different shape.P.coriacea var. atlantica is not known to be in cultivation. [end page 90]