Beautiful species pelargoniums native to Australia

Pelargonium littorale (left) is a low growing upright and delicate shrub which is similar to that of Pelargonium capitatum rose scented leaf and pelargonium grossularioides fruit scented leaf..
The flowers are pale pink with darker markers and each flowering stalk contains 2- 7 flowers with long and ovate sepals, the leaves can range from  oval, heart shaped, or orbicular.
P. littorale grows from about  10 to 50 cm’s in height and is covered with  glandular hairs, green to pinkish stems, classified under the section Peristera, as a subspecies (pelargonium littorale- Huegel subsp. Littorale)

This plant is native to South West Australia mostly in coastal areas from the South Eastern corner to the Geraldton sand plains in the north.. Which is why it was named Littorale from the Latin word ‘littoralis’ meaning shore (or grows close to the shore or littoral waters) It can also occur in Victoria and areas of South Australia.
South Western Australia is a eco zone with a Mediterranean like climate which has dry and hot summers and wet winters know as the botanical province which consists of a wide range of plant and animal life as well as woodlands, forests and eco areas of scrub land. This region also has honey possums which forage on flowering shrubs for nectar and pollen. Western bush wallabies and short tailed scrub wallabies.

Pelargonium helmsii (carolin) also known as the Alpine storks bill is native to bio-regions of victoria and New South Wales in mountainous areas including – Northern fall (highlands), Victorian alps and the snowy mountains, it has dark pink flowers with darker markings and oblong sepals with each flowering stalk containing up to 5-12 flowers. It is listed as vulnerable.
Pelargonium renifolium Swinbourne is also native to South Australia and has very small light pink flowers and a greater sprawling growth.

Pelargonium rodneyanum (below) also called the Magenta storks bill is native to specific areas of Australia including New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia. Where is grows on rocky hillsides, sclerophyll forests, woodlands and shrub land.  It has striking dark pink flowers with darker pink markings of the upper petals, on a long delicate flower stalk which contains up to seven flowers. The leaves are soft, light to dark green with shallow lobes and oval to narrow ovate in shape, it grows to about 45 cm’s in height with short stems and also produces brown tuberous roots.

This plant was named after Admiral George Rodney 1718-1792, a British Naval officer, who travelled along with Captain James Cook as head scientist exploring New Zealand and Australia collecting plant specimens for  the gardens of Kew.
Pelargonium rodneyanum is also grown as a garden plant in pots, flower beds or rock gardens because of its colourful flowers. It grows well in slightly acidic soil which has good drainage and is also a popular plant for ground cover.

Pelargonium alchemilloides (below) also known as the lady’s mantle-leaved pelargonium or Wildemaliva is native to a wide area of South Africa apart from the Northern Cape and grows in moist lowland regions usually in clay and loam soil conditions. It  has also been naturalised in temperate coastal areas of South-Western, Western Australia where it grows in shrublands, grasslands and woodlands. This plant has a rambling growth and is low growing, it adapts well to hot and dry environments with much rainfall during the winter period and has an underground tuber.

The flowers can range in colour from dark pink, yellow or white with darker markings and each flowering stalk contains about 3 to 6 flowers. The leaves are rounded or oval in shape with a purplish brown horseshoe zone in the centre, lobed with hairs which gives the impression of a silky texture.
The name alchemilloides refers to the plant Alchemilla (lady’s mantle) which bears some resemblance to this pelargonium, it is a perennial with green to yellow flowers and fan shaped leaves under the Rosaceae family to which the tea is used for medicinal purposes.

Pelargonium australe (below) is endemic to the whole of Australia apart from the Northern territory as well as eastern Tasmania and New Zealand, where it is also known by the name of the native storks bill.. It has white to light pink flowers and darker markings on the upper petals, arranged on long flower stalks which contains up to 12 flowers.

The leaves are slightly scented, hairy & rounded/ or oval with shallow lobes and the plant as a whole grows to about 30 cm’s in height, in its native habitat it grows in rocky areas, on cliffs by the coast, or in sand dunes.
The name australe means Southern possibly meaning the southern hemisphere. The stems of this plant are not so succulent like than that of P.drummondii, while the leaves, also show some similarities to P. capitatum but do not have rose scented leaves.

Pelargonium drummondii (below) shares some similarities to Pelargonium australe, but the stems are more branching with smaller flowers and thinner stems and also P. capitatum which grows all over the South West of Australia was original brought over by early colonists from Britain.

It is an upright shrub which grows to about 10 to 40 cm’s in height with succulent like leaves which are dark green & heart shaped. The flowers are white or pale pink  usually with  darker markings and each flowing stalk contains about 4 to 7 flowers.
It is native to coastal areas of South West Australia and also amongst granitic rocks on sloping ground, hills or small mountains.
This plant was given the name drummondii after James Drummond a Scottish gardener and botanist who became an early setter and collector of  newly discovered plants in Australia.

Pelargonium inodorum (below) which also goes by the name of the wild pelargonium or storks bill is an annual which is native to over a large area of  New South Wales where it grows in forests, woodlands, or grassy and rocky areas and also in Victoria, Tasmania and New Zealand.

The flowers are white or pink with darker markings of dark pink or purple and each flowering stalk contains about 3-14 flowers with oval or heart shaped leaves that are covered in short hairs. The flowers are small and are just a little larger in size than the sepals.
The name inodorum means unscented possibly referring to the flowers as it is believed to have slightly aromatic leaves.

Pelargonium oblongatum & its amazing hybrids

This charming pelargonium with its soft delicate shades of  yellow or cream coloured flowers are simple and elegant on long branching scapes, the larger upper petals have reddish purple veins and stamens that curve upwards making it easier for insects to pollinate it. The leaves are oval or rounded & toothed  as well as having a tuberous root which is partly above ground with layers of thin brown bark.
P. Oblongatum is native to the Northern cape where it grows in hot and dry areas of shrub land in the succulent Karoo, The leaves usually appear during the winter months after a rainy period at ground level while protecting the smaller succulents below, the flowers begin to bloom in October to November, but remains dormant during the Summer. The name oblong refers to long tuber of this plant which grows to a thickness of 15 cm’s, to which the whole shrub reaches a  height of about 30 cm’s, listed under the Hoarea section. This plant was first discovered by William John Burchell during his travels to South Africa, an explorer who collected thousands of specimens for the gardens of Kew.

A hybrid of this species pelargonium includes P. oblongatum x P. Fulgidum ( pictured right) which has striking pinkish red flowers with dark red veins, arranged on long flower stalks, the upper petals are much larger and rounded than the three lower petals, which are long and thin. The leaves are also smaller than that of  P. Oblongatum which have rounded teeth.

Another colour variation of Pelargonium oblongatum x fulgidum  has very pale pink flowers with dark pinkish red veins and light green sepals that are arranged on  long brownish red flower stalks ( pictured below)

It is crossed with Pelargonium fulgidum (pictured below) which has brightly coloured scarlet or pinky red flowers arranged on long flower stalks each having four to nine flowers. The leaves are oblong to cordate with very small greyish hairs that have a soft texture and three to six lobes that curve backwards. P. Fulgidum is a low growing plant which reaches a height of  about  40 to 100 cm’s and is native to the Western cape where it grows in sandy areas and hillsides usually among granite ,appearing in winter during the rainy season.  Its name fulgidum is derived from the Latin word “Fulgidus” meaning having brightly coloured flowers, to which many hybrids are descended from this plant.

Another hybrid is P. oblongatum x hystrix ( pictured below) which  has white flowers and dark reddish veins on the upper petals which fold backwards, the centre of the flower and sepals are light green with long stamens.

The hybrid is crossed with Pelargonium hystrix (below) which has white or light cream coloured flowers, with dark reddish veins on its narrow and rectangular petals. It is a low growing succulent like shrub with thick stems and continuous spikes or stipules, which is why this plant goes by the name hystrix  as it is derived from the word “hystrichos” meaning porcupine, the leaves are oval and pinnately divided.  
P. hystrix is native to the South Western cape and western parts of the Karoo. usually  growing  under larger plants or in dry areas when it is dormant during the Summer months. This plant was discovered by Francis Masson, the Scottish gardener and botanist during the 1700’s, which was brought to the gardens of Kew.

Other hybrids of Pelargonium oblongatum include:
P. oblongatum x radicatum- has about 15 or more small white flowers arranged on a long flowering stem, with reddish pink markings on the upper petals.
P. seifcifolium x oblongatum- has attractive bright purplely pink flowers with dark purple veins, the upper petals are much larger than the lower.
P. oblongatum x cucullatum- it has similar flowers to that of P. Cucullatum but they are much lighter in colour.

References-
Book -Pelargoniums Diana miller
https://www.geraniaceae-group.org/gallery/pelargonium-species-hybrids-g-z/

PELARGONIUM OF THE MONTH-PELARGONIUM FRUTETORUM

Pelargonium Frutetorum has lovely light salmon pink flowers consisting of three large lower petals (ovate) that bend downwards and two upper petals with reddish orange markings on 10-15 mm flower stalks, containing 7 stamens. The  leaves have a circular deep purplish brown zone in the centre with five lobes and rounded. This plant is a shrubby scrambling species that  is native to the Eastern Cape, South Africa and was given its name Frutetorum because of its shrub like appearance, it is of the Ciconium section and is believed to have been first discovered by the English naturalist & artist William John Burchell during his travels to South Africa in the 1800s but this is not certain. Many hybrids have been created from this plant because of its appealing flowers, decorative leaves and its ability to grow well in the shade. P. Frutetorum shows some likeness to  P. mutlibracteatum but is more sturdy and has more a pronounced zone on the leaves

Flower of the month-Pelargonium asarifolium

pelargonium asarifolium

Pelargonium asarifolium is a lovely winter growing species that flowers at the beginning of Summer (November to May) and has a caudex (a thickening stem for water storage) that can grow to 6 cm’s in width with fairly long petioles (15-90 mm) and heart shaped deep green leaves. The flowers are light yellow to cream in colour with deep purple to red feather like markings and contains five stamens on each flower with reddish brown sepals, on long branching flower stalks.

This plant was given the name “asarifolium” because of the feather like delicate lines on the flower petals, to which the name was chosen by George or David Don in 1831.
This plant is native to South Western areas of South Africa where it grows on stony sandy clay soils on sloping ground or on flat ground growing under larger plants, from Piketberg, Porterville and onwards to Sir Lowry’s pass & Worchester.

P. asarifolium when fully grown can grow to a height of 15 to 30 cm’s, the heart shaped leaves look similar to that of wild ginger (Asarum) of the Birthwort family which is not actually a ginger plant but was commonly called this because the rhizome smells and tastes much like that of a ginger root and is a low growing herb native to North America, East Asia and Europe.

Spring flowers- Pelargonium denticulatum

As we are getting towards early Spring with a few sunny days, Pelargonium denticulatum is now starting to flower with its first flower buds this year.

P. denticulatum has pinkish purple flowers with darker markings on the upper petals and dark green sticky divided leaves which are balsam scented. This plant grows to 150 cm /59 inches in height and grows in slightly damp areas.

New picture gallery video

I have now created a picture gallery video of 38 pelargonium species varieties, available on the pelargonium species world website information-picture gallery- video page via this link https://www.pelargoniumspeciesworld.com/page17.html  

IMG_20190427_170427 (1)

Pelargonium wuppertalense

Pelargonium wuppertalense is a fairly new species that grows in the Cederberg mountains in the Western Cape among sandstone, it has creamy white flowers with reddish markings on the upper petals. The leaves can range from a basic leaf shape, divided into three parts, pinnatipartite or finely divided. This plant also has an underground tuber that is like a turnip in shape, I believe this plant is named after the small town Wuppertal in the Cederberg mountains and was possibly first discovered here.

pelargonium wuppertalense

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