DR JEREMY BURGESS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR JEREMY BURGESS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
The centre of a flower of a hybrid tree peony. The genus Paeonia comprises both herbaceous and woody species (so-called tree peonies). It has undergone extensive hybridisation to produce flowers of varying complexity; from single forms with few petals and many stamens, to double forms, in which the stamens are largely or completely replaced by petals. The picture shows a semi-double tree peony flower, which retains all the floral components. In the centre, a lobed carpel is topped with a ridged and feathery stigmatic surface. Surrounding this are many stamens with yellow anthers bearing pollen. Tree peonies are long-lived and very hardy garden plants.
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