Paeonia arietina 'Purple Emperor'
type: [herbaceous peony] [species cultivar] [arietina-cultivar]
It is uncertain, if the historical concept of cultivars of Paeonia arietina has anything to do with the species we recognise as Paeonia arietina nowadays. The majority of the historical Arietina-cultivars is extinct (with the exception of Paeonia 'Northern Glory')
P. arietina. Referred by Kew to P. peregrina. "Not distinct from peregrina in a broad sense. ' Baker.
Flowers dark red, 4 inches in diameter. (Bot. Reg., Pl. 819, var. cretica.)
oxoniensis. Syn. cretica
PEONY SPECIES .
Such of these varieties as I have had in cultivation have not shown themselves to be particularly desirable, the shades of red inclining too much toward a dull and purplish color.
The variety cretica has been sometimes given specific rank. It often goes under the name P. arietina oxoniensis. It is said to be one of the first peonies to bloom, coming even before P. tenuifolia. The flowers are pale rose or nearly white. The plant occurs wild in the mountains of Crete.
used by A.P.Saunders for breeding (link to Saunders' notebooks)