Pelargonium species-woody shrubs

pelargonium betulinum

P. betulinum is an attractive sprawling plant with woody branches that can spread over quite a large area. The leaves are small ovate & camphor scented and resemble that of a birch leaf which is why it also goes by the name ‘Birch leaved pelargonium’. The large flowers are strikingly appealing, pink or purple colour with darker markings on the upper petals, which flowers in Spring and Summer. This plant is native to the Western coast of South Africa in sandy areas from Yzerfontein to Knysna.

P. glutinosum is an upright branching pelargonium with greenish soft stems which becomes more woodier as it matures, the stems then turn more brownish in colour. The triangular sticky leaves have a balm/balsam scent, mid-green to dark green colour and are palmately lobed.
The beautiful flowers are of a delicate shade of pastel pink with darker markings on the upper petals. This plant is native to the Western Cape in various habitats, where three different forms exist. Usually growing near moving water with moist conditions and on mountainsides.

pelargonium vitifolium

Pelargonium vitifolium is another pelargonium that becomes woodier as it matures, when young it has soft green stems covered in hairs that turns brown over time. It is an upright branching shrub with heart-shaped coarsely toothed leaves that resembles a vine leaf in shape and has a lemony pungent scent. The flowers are a delicate shade of pink with darker markings on the upper petals, which can also vary in colour from white to pale purple. It is native to South Africa in the Western Cape, in areas of the South & South West where it grows in valleys close to streams.

pelargonium greytonense

Pelargonium greytonense also has woody stems when mature, it also has very tiny greenish hairs as well as some occurring longer hairs which later turn brown. The aromatic sweet-scented 3 lobed shallow leaves are palm-like in shape, the flowers can vary from light pink to white with darker markings on the upper petals. This plant is native to a small area of the Western Cape, mainly in the South West where it grows on mountain slopes and in narrow gorges. It was first discovered in the small town of Greyton in the Western Cape.

P. graveolens is a charming pelargonium with strong rosy-mint scented triangular deeply incised leaves which have a soft velvety texture. This plant is an upright branching shrub with soft green stems which become woody as it matures. The flowers range from delicate shades of pale pink to pale purple and with darker markings on the upper petals. This Pelargonium has been well known since the 17th century when its leaves were used in food & beverages, tea, potpourri and perfume. It is native to South Africa in areas of the Limpopo Province and also in parts of the Western Cape to the South East where it grows on mountainsides.

pelargonium inquinans

P. inquinans can vary in flower colour from very bright red scarlet, salmon, light pink or white flowers, to which the upper petals are a little smaller in size to the lower three. It is a woody shrub to which the branches become harder & woody as it matures. The leaves are circular or rounded with scalloped edges and have a velvety texture with red glandular hairs. It is native to areas of the Eastern Cape and grows at the edge of succulent scrub land in shale soil.

pelargonium longicaule

P. Longicaule is a low growing slightly woody shrub-let with long stems and dark green deeply divided leaves with a reddish tint, which grows woodier as it matures. It has beautiful white to pale pink flowers on long peduncles that resemble a butterfly in shape and is also known as the butterfly bush. It is native to South Africa in the South West Cape where it grows in sand dunes, sandstone and coastal areas.

more info at

www.pelargoniumspecies world.com

Other woody species include
Woody at base
P. Incarnatum
P. ovale
P. tricolor
P. grandiflorum
P. laevigatum
P. patulium- trailing
P. divisifolium
P. trifidum
P. patulum

Woody branches
P. magenteum
P. xerophyon
P. hirtum
P. plurisectum- twiggy like with thin woody stems.
P. multicaule
P. suburbanum

Woody with age
P. dichondrifolium
P. abrotanifolium
P. karrooicum
Woody, Peeling bark and scales
P. crithifolium
P. laxum
P. schizopetalum
P. stipulaceum- thickened root stock
P. cotyledonis
Other -P. ionidiflorum- small woody shrub

Greek Style salad with Pelargonium graveolens,cherry tomatoes & feta cheese

This healthy & spicy salad filled with cos lettuce, cherry tomatoes, black olives, feta, pelargonium graveolens leaves and herbs make
a refreshing side dish to enjoy with your meal,
The sweetness of the cherry tomatoes, aromatic flavour of the herbs, as well as the tangy fruity taste of the feta and black olives
creates a beneficial & nutritious dish filled with delicious
vegetables and greens.

Ingredients 4 servings


125g cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1 cos lettuce, leaves removed and ripped into small pieces
I red onion cut into small wedges
3-4 leaves of pelargonium graveolens, finely chopped
Finely chopped herbs- basil, oregano and mint
Salt and pepper to taste
80g Black olives
12g chopped Walnuts or pine nuts
180g of feta cheese, cut into small cubes
A sprinkle of red wine vinegar
80g of olive oil
1 cucumber, cut into thin slices and cut in half
Tinned Anchovies in olive oil optional

To prepare
First remove the lettuce leaves and wash them thoroughly, drying them well with kitchen roll. Then rip the leaves and arrange them on a salad dish.

Add the cherry tomatoes, black olives and cucumber, then blend the ingredients together with your hands or with salad tongs, sprinkle over the herbs and pelargonium leaves
making sure all the mixture is well blended.

Cut the feta into small cubes and place them around the dish,
sprinkle with oregano followed by red wine vinegar and olive
oil.

You can also choose to add a few leaves of batavia lettuce,
beetroot, green peppers or mix with pasta.

The Pelargonium blandfordianum hybrid and its related cultivars

pelargonium blandfordianum

Pelargonium blandfordianum is a lovely pelargonium with deeply incised grayish leaves which are fragrant with a scent of rose and white flowers with reddish blotches on the under petals.
It is believed to be a hybrid between P. radula and P. quinquevulnereum. There are a few variations of this plant, ‘album’ refers to the white flowered form and ‘roseum’ to the rose pink flowered form
which has a distinct rosy wormwood fragrance on the leaves.

This hybrid was developed during the early 1800s, introduced by George Spencer Churchill the Marquis of Blandford to which this plant derives its name. George Spencer was a keen and accomplished botanist while he resided at White knights park estate, a medieval manor which is now part of the university of Reading (white knights campus).
Here he became widely known for has large collection of rare and exotic plants from around the globe. Various species were also transported there from the royal gardens by order of the king. George took out a loan to expand and enhance his new estate, creating many new features, such as the ‘Chantilly garden’ which contained several conservatories possibly for tropical plants, a vineyard, bridges, a wide variety of trees, a botanical garden with a wide selection of unique plants, many from America, a wilderness and many seats, fountains, grotto’s and pavilions. Later the gardens fell into decline after George Spencer became bankrupt and his creditors set fire to his house in rage, the rest of the estate was sold off. But remains of the gardens was again found after the world wars.

photo by James Eggleton-unsplash.com

Pelargonium radula is a parent of the hybrid Pelargonium blandfordianum, it has decorative deeply incised leaves with a lemony rose fragrance and small pale pink flowers with dark purple markings on the upper petals. It has similar characteristics to P. graveolens which is closely related and possibly an equivalent to P. radens or a clone and also has a few forms with varied flower colours. The other parent is
Pelargonium quinquevulnereum

which was also believed to have been a hybrid, grown by Mr Armstrong who lived in Hampshire, that shares some similarities to Pelargonium graveolens.

Pelargonium radens is a tall upright shrub with delicate grey green finely divided leaves and light purple flowers with darker markings on the upper petals. The fragrance of the leaves are rose lemon scented and grows well in medium to large pots often growing beside other Plants.
Pelargonium graveolens has soft velvety triangular deeply incised leaves which have a somewhat rosy mint scent, a well known pelargonium since the 17th century in food and beverages, tea, potpourri and perfume.
Other hybrids related to Pelargonium radens or Pelargonium graveolens is P. ‘citrosum’ which has strong citronella lemon fragrance with pale pink flowers also known as the mosquito plant which is popular in the United States & Canada and is a cultivar of P. graveolens, also said to help deter mosquitoes.

P. ‘lady plymouth’ is a hybrid from the species
P. ‘graveolens’ with silver & cream leaves which
are variegated with a minty scent and light
purple flowers, there is also a similar cultivar
known as P ‘grey lady plymouth‘ with has grey
green leaves.
P. ‘Cinnamon rose’ has spicy cinnamon
scented leaves, and an upright growth with short
branches and pale purple flowers.
P. ‘Secret love’ is a eucalyptus scented leaf
pelargonium with light pink flowers showing
some characteristics to P. capitaum.
P. x melissinum is a cross between P. crispum
and P. graveolens which has large lemon balm
scented deeply cut leaves and pink flowers.

P. ‘rosemint’ has mint rose scented
leaves which are variegated and is used in
perfumes, showing some similarities to P.
lady plymouth.
P. ‘westerlund’ rose lemon scented leaf
close resembling that of P. graveolens.

Best flowering pelargoniums for Spring

Best flowering pelargoniums for Spring include: 

P. denticulatum a large slightly bushy shrub full of pastel pink flowers during Spring which looks stunning when lit up by the sun and also attracts honey bees, excellent for a border plant.

peli denti watermarked

Pelargonium graveolens which grows well in medium to large pots and is an attractive plant with rose/mint scented leaves and pretty pink flowers and a lovely plant to grow near the house in a sunny area.

Other spring flower pelargoniums include P. quercifolium- grows well with other shrubs like rosemary.

P. visscossimum, P. odoratissmum. P. vitifolium, P. grossularioides, P. tongaense, P. elongatum and P. greytonense.

pelargonium graveolens

Pelargonium graveolens meaning strong smelling in Latin was grown from seed last year and is now flowering, it has strong minty rose triangular deeply incised scented leaves and pale pink flowers. The scented leaves are used in food and beverages and is native to the Limpopo province and in parts of the Western Cape. graveolens 2 web