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Paeonia banatica Rochel



Flora Europaea treats this species still  as a subspecies like most of the Rpmanian botanists do.

perennial, H-G, alloploid


a great variety of R41 thermonemoral habitats from Codru-Moma and Locva mountains











Recent studies (see here) clearly clarified that this taxon is an old well established alloploid hybridogenic species resulted from an ancient crossing between Paeonia officinalis and Paeonia mairei. Though this may seem odd today from a biogeographical point of view, since the two parental species have areas separated nowadays by thousands of kilometers (Mediteranean basin vs. central China) the biogeograhical scenario of this history can be found in some well documented articles (see here and here). The species is a Pannonian element, being present in the forests around the southern Pannonian Basin in the low altitude mountains of western Romania, northern Serbia and Slovenia and in southern Hungary.

In Romania the species is present in two very disjunct areas, 1. Codru-Moma Mountains (Borz hill (not Pacau Hill as generally described) and Osoiu ridge on the left slope of Armanului valley) and 2Locva Mountains along the Danube in between Bazias and Divici and 1-2 kms north of this alignment inside the mountains. In both areas there are still very rich populations.

The presence of Paeonia mascula (l.) Mill. in the flora of Romania (in the same area, Banat mountains) though maintained through times by Romanian naturalists is doubtful in our opinion. In fact it seems to be all about individuals of Paeonia banatica with much round-shaped leaf lobes which reminds the ones of Paeonia mascula. This large variation in the form and dimensions of the leaf lobes can be seen in every population of Paeonia banatica from Romania and thus some authors consider both species as present in the same places, as around Bazias. In  some pictures in the series below you can also clearly see this variation. This species is documented as solely present in Anina Mountains as var. triternatiformis (A. Nyar.) A. Nyar. in a study (see here). In our opinion this is also Paeonia banatica with much rounded leaf lobes but further studies are needed. The population from valea Ciclovei indicated by these authors was not recently found but the small one from Simeonului Hill.

It would be interesting to see images of the parental species Paeonia mairei H. Leveille (see here, here (scroll down) and here). For the treatment of this species in Flora of China vol. 6 see here.

Above Danube not far from Bazias, Caras-Severin county, to the right from the mouth of Ribis valley, Locvei Mountains, 25th of April 2013.

dr. Alexandru Badarau, alexandru@transsilvanica.net


Hozarnic Hill near Bazias, Caras-Severin county, Locva Mountains, 25th of April 2013.

dr. Alexandru-Sabin Badarau, alexandru@transsilvanica.net


Not far from Divici, Caras-Severin county, Locva moutains. above the Danube to the left from Ribis valley mouth, 26th of April 2013.

dr. Alexandru-Sabin Badarau, alexandru@transsilvanica.net


Bazias, Caras-Severin county, Locva Mountains, at locco classico. From this place the species was orginally described by Rochel in the XIXth century. The remnant population is quite small and very hard to find without the help of the locals. The plants are particularly hard to be spotted because the children from the nearby village collect the flowers immediately as they appear. Thus for extended studies upon this species in the region it is better to search the populations from the above mentioned places which are much larger and easier to find. April 2013.

dr. Alexandru Badarau, alexandru@transsilvanica.net





Codru Moma Mountains, Bihor county, on Borz Hill, 15th of May 2013.

dr. Alexandru-Sabin Badarau, alexandru@transsilvanica.net


Codru-Moma mountains, Bihor county, on Osoiu ridge, April 2011.

dr. Calin Pascut, pascutcalin@yahoo.com



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