Vern.:—Ud-sálap (H.); Bhuma-madiya, yet ghás (Bhut.); Mamekh (Pb.); Chandra, (the plant); Sujumiya (the young edible shoot) N-W. P.
Habitat:—West Temperate Himalaya, from Kumaon to Hazara. 5,000 to 10,000. In the upper Tons valley.
A glabrous perennial herb. Stems 1-2 ft., leafy, erect. Leaves alternate, 6-12 in. long; leaflets 3, usually 3-parted, segments lanceolate, pointed, entire. Flowers few, showy 3-4 in. across, long-stalked, usually solitary in the axils of the upper leaves. Buds globose. Sepals 5, orbicular, concave, green, persistent the outer ones ending in a leaf-like point. Petals 5-10, broadly ovate, concave, red or white. Stamens many. Ovaries 1-3, densely hairy, many-ovuled, seated on a fleshy disk; style short, broad, recurved. Follicles ovoid, 1 in. Seeds few, large, (Collett).
Dr. Dymock observes:—"The tubers are of the female Pæony of Dioscorides. It seems therefore that the male plant is distinct, and is called P. Corallina; the female is called P. Officinalis. (Vide Pharmaco. Ind. Vol. I., P. 17). The flowers are often pinkish.
In the Botanical Maganize for July 1st, 1868 Dr. Hooker writes:—
"In the "Flora Indica" Dr. Thomson and I referred the Himalayan Peonies to forms of P. Officinalis,—a conclusion little acceptable to some botanists, and not at all to gardeners. On reviewing the subject á propos of the present plant, I see no reason to alter my opinion that, as compared with the species of many other genera, the Himalayan ones may well be referred to forms or varieties of the European; but as they differ greatly in habit, colour, and those qualities that render them worthy of cultivation, as well as in some other points of a little more moment. I here keep one at any rate distinct. This is the P. Emodi of Wallich, a common temperate Himalayan plant from Kumaon to Kashmir which is easily recognised by its slender habit, white, subpanicled flowers, and solitary tomentose carpel; in this respect alone, of a solitary tomentose carpel, it differs from P. Albiflora, Willd. of Siberia; and in the tomentose carpel alone from a Kashmir one-carpelled plant, hitherto not distinguished from this, and which, therefore, differs from P. albiflora in the solitary carpel alone."
"* * Dr. More F.L.S. says of it that it is the most distinct of all the herbaceous Peonies, several of the flowers expanding together on the same stem, and being always monogynous. It is more tender than any other herbaceous species, and appears above ground a month earlier than these do."