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 tenuifolia L.

A fully-hardy herbaceous perennial with deeply cut, fern-like leaves and single, cup-shaped, deep red flowers in spring and summer.  To 70cm.  [RHSE, Hortus].

Horticultural & Botanical History

‘This very ornamental flower is perfectly hardy, thriving almost in any soil or situation.  Grows naturally in the Ukraine and about the precipices on the borders of the Tanais, the Volga, and the Terek.  The flowers of the wild plant are far less specious than when cultivated.’  [BM t.926/1806].  Introduced to Britain in 1765.  [JD]. 

In describing Paeonia hybrida Pall., the Botanical Register comments: ‘This is the most beautiful of the cut-leaved Paeonies, from all of which it differs strikingly in the deeper red of its flowers.  According to Marshall von Bieberstein [...] P. laciniata of Willdenow, cited to be P. tenuifolia by M. Decondelle, is the same as P. hybrida.’  [BR f.1208/1829].  Paeonia hybrida Pall. is now considered a form of Paeonia tenuifolia L.

History at Camden Park

Received per ‘Sovereign’ February 1831, the only reference to this plant.  [MP A2948].


Published Jan 29, 2010 - 02:00 PM | Last updated Jan 29, 2010 - 02:07 PM

Figured are fern-like leaves and single, cup-shaped, deep red flower.  Curtis's Botanical Magazine t.926, 1806.

Paeonia tenuifolia L. | BM t.926/1806 | BHL

Family Paeoniaceae
Region of origin

South eastern Europe to southern Russia

  • Paeonia hybrida Pall.
Common Name
Name in the Camden Park Record

Paeonia tenuifolia 

Confidence level high