Flower of the month- Pelargonium echinatum

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Pelargonium echinatum also known as the prickly stemmed pelargonium has lovely showy white, pink or purple flowers with darker markings on the upper petals on long flower stalks which contains around 3-8 flowers and encourages bees and other insects, The leaves are slightly hairy, greyish green and heart shaped. This plant has a tuberous root and a greyish swollen stem with a number of grey branches with thorny stipules and if cared for well can have a 20 year life span.

The name echinatum is derived from the Latin for spiny stipules which are on the stems of this plant and is native to South Africa mostly from the Northern Cape and in areas of the North of Clan William in dry rocky, stony and sandy areas. P. Echinatum is deciduous in Summer and during this time can absorb the sunlight through its stems instead of the leaves. There are a number of different flower colour types in its native habitat and also a few new species or hybrids derived from them such as “Miss Stapleton” which has purplish pink flower petals and suggested to be a cross between P. Echinatum and P. cortusifolium.
Pelargonium echinatum is said to be one of the loveliest pelargoniums to flower during the winter which also grows well in a pots or planted in the garden. It prefers sandy, loam & clay soil, PH neutral in semi shade or full sun.
This plants flowering times can vary depending on if it is grown in the wild or in cultivation, in the wild it can flower from May to November and in Cultivation from June to October.

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