PELARGONIUM OF THE MONTH-PELARGONIUM CORONIFOLIUM

Pelargonium coronifolium has delicate pink, purple or white flowers consisting of two larger upper petals that bend upwards with darker botches and  three smaller petals below. The  leaves are long, narrow and oval in shape with irregular teeth along the leaf margins, grey green in colour. This plant is an upright small shrub species that is native to the Western Cape, South Africa where it grows in dry areas on sloping sandstone or on the lower mountains of the South Western Cape, it is of the Campylia section and was first mentioned by the Dutch scientist Nikolaus Joseph Van Jacquin in his third book Icones Plantarum Rariorm 1794. P coronifolium can also produce identical plants because of its underground branching, some types have narrower leaves which some believe to be a subspecies. The word coronifolium refers to the plant Cornopus (swine-cress) which is similar in appearance to this pelargonium.

Pelargonium pseudofumarioides

Pelargonium pseudofumarioides also known as the false fumitory storks bill is a lovely and fascinating plant with finely divided leaves which are mid to darkish green in colour with a reddish tint.

The flowers are light cream to pink in colour usually pinkish in the center with orange stamens, it is a low growing plant with spreading branches ideal for ground cover which has a woody tap root.

This plant is native to the Eastern Cape, Mpumalanga, Kwazulu Natal and Gauteng where it grows in grasslands and is very hardy which can tolerate frost.

pelargonium pseudofumarioides flower and leaf

Pelargonium peltatum

peltatum is now flowering and each plant can vary from clusters of white, pink to purplish pink flowers, it has slight scented leaves that resemble an Ivy leaf some with a dark zone in the Centre. The Sap can be used to treat skin injuries such as cuts & burns and also can be taken orally to treat inflammation of the throat, as well as a skin wash.

This plant has trailing branches which can grow up into trees, trellis and over hanging baskets, it is also semi succulent so it can grow well in dry areas.

peltatum in its native habitat grows over a large area of the Cape province in arid and coastal regions with summer-winter rainfall , the name peltatum derives from the Latin meaning shield referring to the leaf shape of this plant.

Pelargonium antidysentericum

p. antidysentericum web small

Pelargonium antidysentericum is a upright or trailing plant that can grow into a large shrub and becomes more woody with age. This pelargonium has pale purple to mid purple flowers with pinkish purple markings, each flowering stalk contains 2-5 flowers. It is aromatic with an underground tuber which can grow to 14 cm across, the leaves are kidney shaped & 5 lobed but can vary, some types are zoned and are greyish green in colour while others are light green without being zoned, there are said to be three subspecies of this plant.

The name “antidysentericum” is derived from the pharmacological word antidysenteric meaning medicine for dysentery, the Khoikhoi (hottentots) aboriginal people of South Africa used this plant to treat dysentery and also for anemia. It was given the name by Vincenz Franz Kosteletzky a bohemian doctor and botanist who studied medicinal plants (1801-1887).

Pelargonium antidysentericum grows in South Africa in the Northern Cape where it grows on hillsides in rocky areas.

 

Erodium pelargoniflorum & Geranium maderense

The young plants of Erodium pelargoniflorum and Geranium maderense are growing well. They are of the geraniaceae family which includes pelargonium,

Erodium pelargoniflorum also known as herons bill and “sweet heart” has the foliage of an Erodium and the flowers more like a pelargonium, the petals are white with pink -purple blotches in the centre and prefers full sun to part shade in well drained soil. Geranium maderense  (cranesbill) is native to the Island of Madeira and attracts butterflies and other insects, also known as the giant herb Robert, it has dark green leaves and large purplish pink flowers that grows up to 150 cm (5 inches) in well drained chalky, clay, loam, sandy soil types.

Pelargonium luridum

Pelargonium luridum has graceful clusters of cream,beige,yellow,pink or red flowers on long stalks which are night scented. It is a tuberous plant and the leaves grow from ground level without stems, The leaves are feather like and change slightly with age, when young they are more ovate in shape and when mature are divided more into leaflets. The name P. luridum is derived from the Latin word meaning smoky yellow, this refers to the colour of this plants petals and is native to a wide area of South Africa, Cape province,Natal,Orange Free State and Transvaal usually in grassland and damp areas. In the early 1800’s this plant was listed as a geranium by Henry Charles Andrews an English botanist and botanical artist who illustrated & published five books on botany from 1797-1888.

A root of P. luridum was sent to England from South Africa to Robert Sweet, an English botanist and horticulturist who mentions in his works about a plant that had not flowered, although a little later when the plant grew bigger and bloomed he knew it was the same species as Henry Charles Andrews and changed the botanical name geranium to pelargonium luridum which was mentioned in the colvill catalogue 1822.

pelargonium luridum

Pelargonium Caffrum

P. caffrum is a rare pelargonium with delicate features similar to that of P. bowkeri, the flower petals are fringe like & deep red in colour which are night scented.
It has a tuberous root with deeply divided leaves and flowers mostly during the Summer. It doesn’t like too much hot sun and prefers sun part of the day with light rain in Winter. The picture is an illustration of the P. caffrum flowers
pelargonium caffrum illustration