Pelargonium anethifolium has been greatly admired over recent years for its lovely delicate flowers which range in colour from yellow, green to pink violet with dark reddish markings that are scented at night. The leaves are feathery with traces of red, as well as a tint visible on the petioles, also consisting of an underground tuberous root.
This plant has some similarities to pelargonium triste which may have been collected and taken to Europe during the times of exploration in the Cape possibly believing that it was the same species, P. anethifolium was not identified as a separate species until 1835.
The name anethifolium refers to the leaves of the dill plant Anethum gravelens, a herb and spice which is very similar to the leaves of this plant. Pelargonium anethifolim is native to South Western areas of the Cape and grows to about 50 cm’s in height.
A hybrid of this pelargonium includes P. gibbosum x P. anethitfolium which has various forms of flower types:
The pale pink form (right) has beautiful delicate flowers of pastel pink with a slight flush of darker pink on the petals, arranged on an long, elegant flower stalk, containing up to eleven flowers, but they carry no scent.
It is crossed with Pelargonium gibbosum known as the gouty pelargonium because of its swollen nodes on long scrambling branches. The flowers vary from a slight orangey yellow to a brownish yellow with 6-14 flowers on each flower stalk. The leaves are succulent like with a leathery texture and has sharp and irregular leaf margins or lobed. P. gibbosum becomes more woody as it ages and grows to about 40 to 60 cm’s in height, native to the Western cape where it grows in sandy and stony areas not far from the coast.
The peachy pink flower type (left) appears to be smaller in size than the light pink, but the mixture of orange and pink colours with a dash of yellow in the centre makes this flower simply unique. The flowers are arranged on a long flower stalk which contains up to eleven flowers, the sepals are also fairly long compared to the flower size and the leaves are also very decorative.
Another hybrid is P. anethifolium x fulgidum which also has various flower forms:
The deep red type (right) has striking pale pink or white flowers with splashes of deep red on the petals, this form looks more like a hybrid but is a very attractive plant and the leaves are still rather similar to that of P. Anethifolium.
The white form (below) with splashes of pale pink are simple but charming with just that added flush of bright pink upon the white delicate flowers.
This hybrid is crossed with pelargonium fulgidum which has bright scarlet or deep purplish red flowers on long flower stalks. It is a low growing shrub with scrambling foliage & succulent like stems with leaves that are either rectangular or heart shaped with finely toothed leaf margins. P. Fulgidum is native to Western coastal areas of South Africa usually on sandy hillsides or growing within rock formations of granite.
References- pelargonium gibbosum x anethifolium https://pelargonium.janedgar.net/p-gibbosum-x-p-anethifolium/
pelargonium anethifolium x fulgidum https://pelargonium.janedgar.net/p-anethifolium-x-p-fulgidum/