Jepson eFlora: Taxon page
Vascular Plants of California
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Paeonia californica

Higher Taxonomy
Family: PaeoniaceaeView Description 
Habit: Perennial herb, subshrub; roots generally in fleshy clusters. Stem: 1--several from root crown. Leaf: basal and cauline, alternate, large, deeply, generally ternately, dissected to compound, +- fleshy; stipules 0. Inflorescence: terminal, flowers 1 or few in cluster. Flower: sepals generally 5, free, leathery, persistent in fruit; petals generally 5--10; stamens many, maturing outward; pistils 2--5, simple, thick-walled, surrounded at base by lobed disk, style +- 0. Fruit: follicles, 2--5. Seed: large, generally several per follicle, generally black, arilled.
Genera In Family: 1 genus: western United States, Eurasia, especially temperate eastern Asia.; many cultivated. Note: Disk evidently not nectar-secreting.
eFlora Treatment Author: Fosiée Tahbaz
Scientific Editor: Thomas J. Rosatti.
Genus: PaeoniaView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Common Name: PEONY

Etymology: (Greek: Paeon, physician to the gods)
Paeonia californica Nutt.
Stem: generally branched. Leaf: 1° divisions 3--9 cm, 1--6 cm wide; ultimate segments +- wide-linear or oblong, bases +- or not tapered. Flower: petals 15--25 mm; filaments 5--8 mm, anthers 3--7 mm. Fruit: 3--4 cm. Seed: +- 16 mm. Chromosomes: n=5.
Ecology: Chaparral, coastal scrub; Elevation: < 1500 m. Bioregional Distribution: s CCo, SCoR, SCo, TR, PR; Distribution Outside California: Baja California. Flowering Time: Jan--May
Jepson eFlora Author: Fosiée Tahbaz
Index of California Plant Names (ICPN; linked via the Jepson Online Interchange)

Previous taxon: Paeonia brownii
Next taxon: Papaveraceae

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Botanical illustration including Paeonia californica

botanical illustration including Paeonia californica

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Citation for this treatment: Fosiée Tahbaz 2012, Paeonia californica, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on June 25, 2024.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2024, Jepson eFlora,, accessed on June 25, 2024.

Paeonia californica
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©2013 Keir Morse
Paeonia californica
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©2013 Keir Morse
Paeonia californica
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©2008 Gary A. Monroe
Paeonia californica
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©2013 Keir Morse
Paeonia californica
click for enlargement
©2013 Keir Morse

More photos of Paeonia californica
in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Paeonia californica:
s CCo, SCoR, SCo, TR, PR
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map of distribution 1
(Note: any qualifiers in the taxon distribution description, such as 'northern', 'southern', 'adjacent' etc., are not reflected in the map above, and in some cases indication of a taxon in a subdivision is based on a single collection or author-verified occurence).


Data provided by the participants of the  Consortium of California Herbaria.
View all CCH records
All markers link to CCH specimen records. The original determination is shown in the popup window.
Blue markers indicate specimens that map to one of the expected Jepson geographic subdivisions (see left map). Purple markers indicate specimens collected from a garden, greenhouse, or other non-wild location.
Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues.

CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa, if there are more than 1 infraspecific taxon in CA.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time (fruiting time in some monocot genera).