Colin Mills, compiler of the Hortus Camdenensis, died in late November 2012 after a short illness. As he always considered the Hortus his legacy, it is his family's intention to keep the site running in perpetuity. It will not, however, be updated in the near future.

Paeonia lactiflora Pall. var. humei

See Paeonia lactiflora Pall. var. fragrans.  ‘This group [Paeonia albiflora] is distinct in habit and colour, ranging from two to three feet in height, more erect and stately in growth, darker green in foliage, and terminating in blossoms varying from clear white to roseate purple and rich crimson.  The varieties are well adapted for the summer decoration of select flower-gardens, and for the middle foreground of arboretums and shrubberies.’  It describes Paeonia albiflora Humei as ‘generally from two to three feet in height, occasionally larger, rough-surfaced leaves and scentless, rose-coloured flowers, from six to nine inches in diameter.’  [Gard. Chron. 1854].  There is also a paler-flowered variety called P. Humei alba, with blush-coloured flowers.  [Gard. Chron. 1856].  



Horticultural & Botanical History

Paeonia albiflora and its varieties are figured in a number of the early botanical magazines but I have found no figure of Paeonia lactiflora humeiAndrews’ Botanical Repository was probably the first depiction, a plant introduced by J. Bell from St. Petersburg.  [ABR pl.64/1799].  Curtis's Botanical Magazine figures a variety with pure white flowers [BM t.1756/1815] and the Botanical Register [BR f.1436/1831] figures a variety recently imported from China, Paeonia albiflora var. Pottsii: ‘It flowers rather before P. albiflora Humei, and later than P. albiflora Whitlei.’  Another variety of P. albiflora, with single white, pink-flushed flowers, had previously been figured at BR f.42/1815. 

Don reports that the roots of the varieties of Paeonia albiflora are boiled in broth by both the Daurians and Monguls.  They also grind the seeds and put them in tea.  Introduced in 1784.  [PD].



History at Camden Park

Listed in the 1850 and 1857 catalogues [B.387/1850].




See also Paeonia suffruticosa Andr. var. humei.


Published Jan 29, 2010 - 01:24 PM | Last updated Aug 04, 2011 - 05:15 PM

Family Paeoniaceae
Region of origin

North and east Asia, but probably of garden origin

  • Paeonia albiflora Pall. var. humei
  • Paeonia humei Vilm.  


Common Name
Name in the Camden Park Record

Paeonia albiflora Humeana 



Confidence level high