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 suffruticosa Andr. var. Banksii

See Paeonia suffruticosa Andr. for a description of the species.  The variety Banksii seems rather similar to Paeonia suffruticosa Andr. var. rosea which also see. Johnson’s Dictionary describes the flowers as purple.

Horticultural & Botanical History

‘This was introduced to the Royal Gardens at Kew, in 1789, and was the first of the species that was brought to Europe; it blossomed at Kew for the first time in 1793.  The flowers are usually quite double, and spreading, with an expansion of eight or nine inches; sometimes they are so full as to force the calyx back on the peduncle, and then the outer parts of the flower also turn downwards; but both this, and probably all the Moutans, vary as to the number of petals they produce, according to the soil they are placed in, and the degree of establishment of that soil.  Sometimes the Banksii produces flowers totally destitute of petals at all, and many are intermediate between that state and the fullest flower.  The petals are slightly tinged with blush, becoming nearly white at the edges, and are marked at the base with reddish pink; this darker colour sometimes regularly mixes with the paler parts of the petals, and sometimes has a slight appearance of running into it in rays, or featherings.  The petals gradually diminish in size as they approach the centre of the flower, and have there more of the reddish pink colour diffused over them.’  [Clericus in FC p.45/1842].  Probably one of the varieties that Sir Joseph Banks imported from China, as discussed under Paeonia suffruticosa Andr.  

History at Camden Park

Desideratum to James Backhouse, 1st February 1849 [MP A2933-1, p.183].  Macarthur records receiving four ‘Moutans, said to be various’, among a number of plants received from Captain Simpson in late 1849 or early 1850, apparently on the same ship as those accompanying Captain P. P. King.  The source is unclear.  [ML A1980-3].  This plant may be amongst these.


Published Jan 29, 2010 - 03:06 PM | Last updated Mar 31, 2010 - 12:14 PM

Family Paeoniaceae
Region of origin

China, probably garden origin

Common Name

Tree paeony, Moutan

Name in the Camden Park Record

Paeonia moutan Banksii

Confidence level high