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Pakistan | Family List | Paeoniaceae | Paeonia

Paeonia emodi var. emodi

Vern: ‘mamekh’.

Perennial, 50 cm or more tall, glabrous. Leaves biternate or ternate, glabrous; lamina pale on undersurface, decurrent; median segment deeply 3-incised, the lateral segments elliptic-lanceolate or lanceolate, larger ones up to 14 x 4.5 cm, acuminate; petiole of lower leaves 5-8 cm long, of uppermost leaves 2-3 cm long. Flowers solitary, axillary, 8-9 cm broad. Bracts leafy. Sepals imbricate, oblong to suborbicular, 2 x 2.5 cm, outer ones smaller and long acuminate. Petals 8, white, obovate, 4-5 x 2.7-3.8 cm, apex ± wavy and reflexed. ovary ovoid, 6-7 x 5-6 mm, strigose. Follicle 1(-2), globose-ovoid, dense yellow-white tomentose, 2.5-2.7 cm long, splitting along the ventral sutures, woody. Seeds 3-5, large, globose-ovoid, c. 8 mm broad, minutely rugose, brown-black, bright scarlet red when unripe.

Fl.Per.: May June,

Type: Kumaon, Shallom, Wallich cat. no. 4727.

Distribution: Himalayas in Pakistan and India, E. Afghanistan.

The Himalayan peony is widely distributed in the W. and N.W. Himalayas up to 3200 m in forest clearings, where it is gregarious. Some authors (Blatter, l.c.; Kanjilal, For. Fl. 13. 1901) mention the flower colour as pink or red. I only know the white-flowered form. A specimen collected from Kakul (no. 8291) has on its label ‘flowers purple’. This is possibly an error, also the area of collection is doubtful, as it is at a much lower elevation (c. 1400m) than Paeonia emodi normally grows. Schipchinskii in Fl. URSS, l.c. 34, mentions the occurrence of the pink or pink-purple Paeonia hybrida pall. from the Pamir-Alai (Soviet C. Asia) area. This species though never collected from Pakistan, may be expected in the upper Yarkhun valley area in N. Chitral.

The underground tubers are useful in nervous disorders. The dried flowers are used for stomach complaints (diarrhoea) The seeds are purgative and emetic.


Related Objects  
  • Illustration (S. Hameed)
  • Illustration

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