Tree peony is a traditional ornamental plant and its seed oil is now being produced in China. The unsaturated
fatty acids content in peony seed oil is more than 90%, especially α-linolenic acid (ALA), whose content
is more than 40%, whereas in other edible oils, the ALA content is commonly lower than 10%. Paeonia
ostii is the most widely used tree peony species for oil extraction, which is commercially called Fengdan
and treated as a single cultivar. Here, 50 P. ostii individuals from the same population in northern China
were randomly selected for fatty acid (FA) analysis, and the statistical analysis indicated that most of the
individual FA, saturated FA, unsaturated FA, and total FA levels showed significant positive correlations to
each other, whereas the seed yield per plant was independent. Therefore, we suggest that Fengdan cannot be
simply treated as one uniform cultivar. Besides, our results may also help to simplify the resource selection
in breeding and accelerate the development of this industry. See pages 1758–1767 by Wei et al. in details.
Photo showed here was the fully mature seed pod of P. ostii provided by Prof. Zhang Xiuxin from Institute of
Vegetables and Flowers, Chinese Academy of Agriculture Sciences, China.