As we are getting towards early Spring with a few sunny days, Pelargonium denticulatum is now starting to flower with its first flower buds this year.
P. denticulatum has pinkish purple flowers with darker markings on the upper petals and dark green sticky divided leaves which are balsam scented. This plant grows to 150 cm /59 inches in height and grows in slightly damp areas.
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The angel pelargoniums are hybrids believed to be derived from P. crispum a lemon scented pelargonium and P. grossularioides a fruit scented pelargonium.
Although they have almost certainly been crossed several times with hybrids such as the regal and other pelargonium species with one of its parents or closely related types.
It was named the Angel pelargonium pelargonium by Dereck Clifford because they looked similar to Pelargonium dumosum which was illustrated and described by Sweet, the Latin name “Dumus” meaning house of the church which may have had some reference to Angel.
Pelargonium crispum may have been crossed with a hybrid known as ” the Shar” but this is not certain, The first known pelargonium Angels to be created was by Arthur Langley Smith who produced many with pink, white and pale purple flowered varieties with veins and patterned markings. Arthur was a school teacher who lives in London, he named one of his creations ” Mrs G H Smith” a white flowered pelargonium with blushes of bright pink after his wife of the same name.
Angel pelargoniums such as P. crispum angel eyes still have leaves that are very similar to P. crispum and are usually scented, the species pelargonium P crispum has fan shaped crisped edged leaves that are lemon scented and is used for essential oil and potpourri. This plant is native to South Africa in the Western Cape where it grows in sandy rocky areas, on mountainsides and hills.
P. tritidum is also believed to have been used to create the hybrid angel pelargonium which was introduced to Kew gardens in the late 1700s by Masson. It is also known as the brittle stalked pelargonium because it has delicate thin stems and bright green leaves which are divided into 2-3 leaflets and has a strong unpleasant fragrance, the flowers are white with deep purple markings native to the Western and Eastern Cape.
The angel pelargonium “hybrid”Henry Weller” which has large dark purple pansy like flowers with a white outline, has similar leaves and long flower stems to P. grossularioides a fruit scented pelargonium with leaves that closely resembles a gooseberry leaf which is kidney shaped, the flowers are small and reddish purple and is native to coastal areas of South Africa and also further inland in the Eastern Cape.