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 peregrina Mill.

A fully-hardy herbaceous perennial with erect stems, deeply cut leaves and single, bowl-shaped, glistening, deep red flowers in spring and summer. To 60cm.  [RHSE, Hortus].  

Horticultural & Botanical History

‘This is often taken for Paeonia humilis, but does not at all agree with Retzius’s description of that species, which has narrower and more divided leaves, and nearly naked germens and capsules; not at all tomentose.’  [BM t.1050/1807].  Originally introduced to Britain some time in the 18th century or earlier, re-introduced to Britain as Paeonia lobata in 1821.

History at Camden Park

Listed in the 1850 and 1857 catalogues [B.388/1850]. It is possible that this plant, and others first appearing in the catalogue in 1850, were obtained from Loddiges’ nursery as ‘Paeonia, any of the showy varieties except Whitleyi’, were included among desiderata in a letter dated 16th April 1846.  [MP A2933-1, p.147].


Another perhaps less likely possibility is Paeonia officinalis L. byzantina atrorubens.  This has remarkably large blossoms, measuring from six to nine inches across, ‘readily recognised by its dark-tinted stems and foliage, and by the still richer and deeper crimson of its magnificent blooms.’  [Gard. Chron. 1854].

Published Feb 18, 2009 - 11:51 AM | Last updated Jan 29, 2010 - 12:05 PM

Depicted are deeply cut leaves and single, bowl-shaped, glistening, deep red flowers.  Curtis's Botanical Magazine t.1050, 1807.

Paeonia peregrina Mill. | BM t.1050/1807 | BHL

Family Paeoniaceae
Region of origin

Southern Europe

Common Name


Name in the Camden Park Record

Paeonia Byzantina 

Confidence level medium