First flowers of Pelargonium viscossimum this year.

New flowers of pelargonium viscossimum this year, it has pale purplish pink flowers and darker markings. Various other spring flowers including Africa daisy flowers with butterfly, daffodils, a bay tree with very strong fragrance which attracts insects, rose, tulips, pelargonium quercifolium and a purple Mediterranean bee on a flower.

Pelargonium viscossimum

Pelargonium gibbosum

The young plant of pelargonium gibbosum (known as the gouty pelargonium) is now coming up to flower. It has succulent stems swollen at the nodes with blue green leaves and each flowering stork has up to 15 flowers that are green yellow in colour and have a sweet fragrance at night.

P. radens x P. graveolens

This plant which germinated in the Autumn could possibly be a cross between Pelargonium radens and Pelargonium graveolens. The leaves are like that of P. graveolens  and the flowers look something between the two, light flowers like P. radens and the shape is similar to that of P. graveolens. They are pollinated by bees so occasionally something unusual comes up.

Pelargonium Schizopetalium

peli schizopetalum old pic

This unusual & beautiful plant has deeply cut fringed flowers in red & yellow colours. The name “ Schizo” is connected to the word Schizophrenia (split personality), Schizo meaning split referring to the split fringed petals. It is a tuberous plant with scales and short stems, the leaves are oblong and feathery which is covered in short soft hairs, Pelargonium schizophrenia are native to areas of the Eastern Cape province, with some slightly different in appearance depending on the location.
This image is taken from an old antique book published before 1923, at artcult.com.

Pelargonium trichome

magnification pelargonium glandular hairs

The scented fragrance that range from rose,mint,balsam, lemon,pineapple and other aromas obtained on the leaves of many species & hybrid pelargoniums are created inside the trichome, these are tiny fine hairs that cover the surface of the leaf and grow from cells on the epidermis. Trichome (meaning hair in Greek) is produced in order to protect itself against plant eating insects, the scented fragrance is created in a glandular ball at the end of each fine hair which helps to prevent insects from damaging or feeding off the leaves. Only glandular hairs produce a scent and the trichome’s on the leaves of the pelargonium species can vary in size and shape some are spherical, bulb or are diamond shaped at the tip.

Rose essential oils can be produced from the leaves of P. capitatum, P. radens and P. graveolens which are mostly used in perfume, skin care and also aromatherapy, it is also good for relaxing the muscles

Butterfly pelargonium

fotolia-butterfly-peli

Pelargonium papilionaceum meaning butterfly because of its large beautiful & elegant pink flowers that resemble a butterfly in appearance with purple markings in the center.
It grows to about 2 meters with heart shaped shallow lobed leaves that are scented but can have a strong and unpleasant fragrance, although the lovely flowers makes up for this, Each flowering stork contains 5-10 flowers. P. papilionaceum has been grown in cultivation since the 1700s and the leaves are also used as a substitute for tobacco. It is native to areas on the edge of forests in the South Western and Southern Cape.

scented leaves in cooking

Tea pot with cup
pelargonium tea

Scented pelargonium leaves can be used in cooking, baking, beverages,flavouring and also in icecream,meringues,liqueur, jellies and more.
Rubbing the leaves brings out the scented fragrance before it is used for your ingredients.
The flowers and leaves are edible and can be placed on top of
cakes & desserts,
Mint,Lemon & Rose scented leaves are the most popular in food flavouring but there are many more aromas to choose from.
Chopped leaves can be added to cakes,custard,milk pudding, sweet sauces and sorbet for flavouring.
They can also be used to add flavour to tea/iced tea or homemade lemonade or smoothes.