Pelargonium Ovale/tricolour

flowers-18643peli-ovale-for-web

P. ovale pictured below has attractive white to deep pink flowers and is a low growing pelargonium with grey green narrow oval shaped leaves, it was brought to Europe in the 1700s by Francis Masson who collected many new plant species on his travels to Africa
Another close species is P. tricolor which is quite similar to P. ovale but smaller in size and with bright coloured flowers, deep red upper petals with a black spot at the base and white lower petals, the leaves are also grey green narrow oval shaped but a lot smaller in size. It has larger flowers when it is planted in the shade and smaller in bright sun light and was collected by Masson in 1791.
At the Royal Botanic gardens of Kew a few new hybrids were being created and a cultivator by the name of pelargonium Splendide was recorded as a cross between P. ovale & P. tricolor which is still quite popular today as a garden plant, the beautiful bicoloured flowers in two different shades, like the tricolor but much larger, dark red upper petals with a dark spot in the center and white lower petals.

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