P. peltatum is an attractive pelargonium with beautiful elegant flowers which can vary in colour from pastel shades of pink to pale purple & also white usually with darker veins. The rounded leaves look similar to an ivy leaf which is fleshy and succulent like & has a circular zone in the centre. The sap can be taken orally for a sore throat and when grinded into a paste it can be applied to scratches, light burns and wounds as an antiseptic. It is a slightly succulent climbing or trailing plant that is native to the Eastern & Western Cape of South Africa where it grows in succulent shrubland and coastal areas. It is also a great garden plant for hanging baskets, pots or planted next to trees or trellis.
The name ‘peltatum’ is derived from the Latin meaning peltate (shield-shaped, circular) which refers to the leaves of this plant.
Many of the modern-day Ivy leaf cultivar and hybrids geraniums are derived from this species, the first was believed to be a cross between P. Peltatum and P. Hotorum and now comes in many forms including miniature ivy leaf, single flower ivy leaf, double flower ivy leaf, rosettes and ones with fancy leaves or bi-colours.
The Dwarf ivy leaf geraniums are cultivars that have been altered to be significantly smaller in size than the average ivy leaf pelargoniums which doesn’t require much punning due to their short root system & compact growth. The P. “Millfield rose’ is a hybrid ivy leaf pelargonium which has dwarf double rosebud blooms in a delicate pink shade, which looks like small roses, it has green ivy shaped leaves that show some resemblance to P. Peltatum. Another similar hybrid is the dwarf P. “Millifield Gem which has pale pink flowers with dashes of crimson.
The ivy leaf single-flowered pelargoniums are very popular in Europe and are usually hung up on balconies like that of the Balcon mixed which comes in many colours from white, pink to red and can also grow well in pots and on the patio.
The ivy leaf Cascade series have narrower petals and are trailing such as the P. ‘Sofie Cascade’ which has pale pink flowers with darker narrow veins and has a shading of darker pink towards the middle of the flowers.
P. ‘bright Cascade’ has very bright reddish flowers and P. ‘Cascade Lila compact’ has bright pale pink/lavender flowers. Others include P.‘Cascade apple blossom’ and P. ‘Cascade white’.
The semi-double flower types are more popular in the UK and can come in almost all colours apart from yellow and blue. The ivy leaf ‘Harlequin’ series contains several pelargoniums with striking semi-double flowers, P. Peltatum ‘Harlequin miss liverbird’ is a cultivar that has trusses of white flowers that are flushed with a large area of pink. P. peltatum ‘Harlequin Mahogany’ is very similar but with trusses of white, red, pink flowers, others include P. ‘Harlequin Ted Day” and P. ‘Harlequin Rosy o Day’.
As well as the vast array of ivy leaf geraniums bred for their attractive flowers, They are also admired for their fancy ivy leaves like that of P. ‘L’elegante which has mid-green leaves outlined with white, the edges of the leaves are believed to turn pinkish if left un-watered. Others include Pelargonium x Hortorum ‘Vancouver Centennia’ which has coppery brown-reddish leaves outlined and veined with gold. While Pelargonium x Hortorum ‘Indian Dunes’ has bright yellowish-green leaves with a large coppery brown-reddish zone.