Flower of the month-Pelargonium asarifolium

pelargonium asarifolium

Pelargonium asarifolium is a lovely winter growing species that flowers at the beginning of Summer (November to May) and has a caudex (a thickening stem for water storage) that can grow to 6 cm’s in width with fairly long petioles (15-90 mm) and heart shaped deep green leaves. The flowers are light yellow to cream in colour with deep purple to red feather like markings and contains five stamens on each flower with reddish brown sepals, on long branching flower stalks.

This plant was given the name “asarifolium” because of the feather like delicate lines on the flower petals, to which the name was chosen by George or David Don in 1831.
This plant is native to South Western areas of South Africa where it grows on stony sandy clay soils on sloping ground or on flat ground growing under larger plants, from Piketberg, Porterville and onwards to Sir Lowry’s pass & Worchester.

P. asarifolium when fully grown can grow to a height of 15 to 30 cm’s, the heart shaped leaves look similar to that of wild ginger (Asarum) of the Birthwort family which is not actually a ginger plant but was commonly called this because the rhizome smells and tastes much like that of a ginger root and is a low growing herb native to North America, East Asia and Europe.

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