Species Peonies It is difficult to define the word ‘species’ in a way that applies to all natural occurring organisms and this difficulty is known as the ‘Species Problem’. There are over two dozen definitions in use amongst biologists and it is not the puropose of this site to enter a discussion about the various shadings applied to a definition of the word. Instead we shall simply refer to the genus Paeonia and the natural (as opposed to man-made) occurrence of plants within the genus i.e. those which can be described by the generic name Paeonia.
Such plants are classified by taxonomists into different Sections and Subsections, and different taxonomists classify them differently. Recent work has started to rely on DNA analysis and has produced some surprising indications that plants previously regarded as separate are, in fact, naturally occurring hybrids between other species. This section of the website briefly discusses some plants available in Britain. Hover over the image to see a brief description. A full and detailed discussion of the species can be found in many books (see the ‘Publications’ page).
The Peony Society