Glossary of Terms

Plant Terminology and Abbreviations

‘Plant Speak’ Got Your Tongue?  Remedies Follow…

advanced generation hybrid…  Any group of hybrid plants that are generally beyond the F2 generation.  More simply, plants that have complicated backgrounds that may involve many different species or have multiple generations in their heritage.
adventitious…Growth that arises from roots.  Often seen in grafted peonies (unwanted) and in certain hybrids with Paeonia peregrina in their ancestry.  The characteristic can be desirable when wanting to propagate a plant, as blind roots can grow new plants.
anther…The male structure on flower that holds pollen.
AGLH…Advanced Generation Lutea Hybrid:  F1 or beyond generation crossings between Paeonia lutea hybrid x lutea hybrid or backcrosses to either P. lutea or P. suffruticosa.  Most commonly hybrid x hybrid.
ALM…Award of Landscape Merit: Paeonia cultivars chosen for superior ornamental value, overall appearance in the landscape and throughout the growing season, and reliable performance across North America.  An American Peony Society recognition.
APS…American Peony Society:  the organization that oversees worldwide peony registrations and other activities relating to the genus.
American suffruticosaPaeonia suffruticosa selections developed in North America, hardy, good growers on in the Northern United States.
Anther…The envelope-like structure that holds pollen in plants.
bicolor…Petals and sepals of different color.
bitone…Petals and sepals of different color tone.
blend…A number of colors mixed to create a multiple coloration.
carpel…Finger-like reproductive structures found after peony complete bloom.   Carpels contain the ovaries in which peony seeds may develop.
crown…The growing point that is attached to the root system.
Chinese suffruticosaPaeonia suffruticosa selections developed in China, maybe problematic to grow in the United States and Europe.  Not a species, but rather a man made hybrid swarm.
diploidChromosomes that occur in pairs (normal configuration).  Generally useful for hybridizers, as diploids are most fertile with other diploids, but there are exceptions
dormant…Characteristic of a plant to ‘rest’ during the winter (best habit for plants in Wisconsin).
DF…Double Fan, describes unit size of daylily (2 blooming size growths on a root system).
E…(early) Cultivar blooms in the early part of the bloom season for a given genus.
EE…(extra early) Cultivar blooms in the earliest part of the bloom season for a given genus.
EM…(early mid) Cultivar blooms just before main bloom period for a given genus.
evergreen…Characteristic of a plant to continually grow (a poor habit for plants in Wisconsin–this may include plants designated ‘semi-evergreen’).
filament…A stalk-like structure holding anthers at their very top in the genus Paeonia.  Sometimes referred to as a sub assembly of a stamen.
flare…Showy elongated dark colored streaks of varying widths originating at the center of a peony flower’s petals which flow outward (characterized in most Rockii hybirds).
genus…The first name in a scientific name attached to an organism and designates a closely related group.   Example:  Paeonia wendelboi;  Paeonia is the genus.
herbaceous…stems and foliage die to the ground at the end of the growing season.
hybrid…A plant that has parents that are from different species or resulting hybrids.  Plants bred to other plants with different traits may also be referred to as hybrids.
H?…Plant may not be hardy or needs mulching to perform in northern climates.
IntersectionalA hybrid that involves parents from two sections of the genus Paeonia.  Commonly known as ‘Itoh hybrid’.  Basically a cross of herbaceous x woody Paeonia.
Japanese suffruticosaPaeonia suffruticosa selections developed in Japan, good plants for American and European gardens.
L…(late) Cultivar blooms in the late part of the bloom season for a given genus (early to mid August for daylilies).
lactifloraPaeonia species that has been selectively bred for hundreds of years to create a wide range of flower characteristics.  Typically the most common type of peony grown.  Valued for its cutflower properties and fragrance in some cultivars.
lutea hybridWoody Paeonia cross of P. delavayi (lutea) x suffruticosa.  Note:  Paeonia delavayi was once taxonomically referred to as Paeonia lutea, thus any plant with P. delavayi in its heritage is called a ‘lutea hybrid’.  Many Europeans still refer to the yellow form of P. delavayi as P. lutea.
M…(mid) Cultivar blooms during the major flowering period for a given genus.
ML…(mid late) Cultivar blooms just after the main flowering period for a given genus.
Paeonia…In taxonomy, Paeonia is the genus name for peonies.   A genus could be compared to our last name, which we share with our close relatives.
petiole…The stalk that attaches the leaf blade to the stem. Outgrowths appearing on each side of the petiole in some species are called stipules. 
polychrome…A blend of similar colors, often pink, yellow and gold.
RE…(recurrent) Cultivar produces a second round of blooms (this trait often is not expressed in northern Wisconsin due to our short growing season).  We seldom list plants as recurrent or rebloomers.
rockii hybrid…a cross of Paeonia rockii or one of it hybrids with a suffruticosa, rockii hybrid or rockii cultivar.  Paeonia rockii is a woody peony species from China with very hardy stems.
scape…Stem on a daylily that holds the flowers.
semi-evergreen…A foliage designation in daylilies that falls between dormant and evergreen.  These typically act as evergreens in Northeast Wisconsin.
sheath…A short lived structure that wraps the young carpels found on woody peonies and a few other groups within the genus Paeonia.
species…A group of living organisms consisting of similar individuals capable of exchanging genes or interbreeding.  For practical purposes, they are plants that occur naturally in the wild and are the basis for our many hybrids.
stamen…Often elongated male structure that holds anthers and pollen at its top.
stigma…Receptive female structure on a flower.
stoloniferous…A growth habit of a stem that grows at or near the surface.  Often called a ‘runner’.
suffruticosa…A group of woody peonies which were once treated as a species, but now are know to be man-made hybrids.  Suffruticosa Group peonies are the most common of woody peonies and originate from China.  Later hybrids from Japan, Europe and the United States are better suited to continental climates than those produced in China.
tetraploid…Chromosomes that occur in doubled pairs.  Generally useful for hybridizers, as tetraploids can be crossed with tetraploids, and less so with other ploidies.  Tetraploids tend to be larger plants and have heavier thicker structures throughout.  Flowers can be larger, have heavier substance and produce more unusual floral variations.
VL…(very late) Cultivar blooms in the latest part of the bloom season for a given genus.
woody…Stems are persistent throughout the year.
*…Indicates tetraploid, all others are presumed diploid.
¡…presumed tetraploid.