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

Pelargonium scabrum and other lemon scented species

pelargonium scabrum

Pelargonium scabrum is a charming pelargonium that has strong lemon-scented leaves with quite a rough texture & rhomboidal in shape. The flowers are white but can also be pink with purple markings on the upper petals and each flowering stalk contains about six flowers. It is an upright branching shrub that grows to about 100 cm /39 inches in height native to the Western Cape, Northern Cape and Eastern Cape where it grows in dry, rocky and coastal areas which has summer and winter rainfall.
The name ‘scabrum’ is derived from the Latin meaning having a raised texture, this refers to the leaves of this plant which is covered in rough hairs. Ideal for pots, tubs, fragrant gardens, rock gardens and succulent gardens. This plant prefers dry sandy loam soil conditions (PH. Acid/neutral) in full sun. It differs from the other strongly scented Pelargonium citronellum below by its larger leaves which are palmate in shape with pointed lobes and is also taller than P. scabrum reaching a height of 2 m. The flowers are also larger in size and purplish-pink in colour with darker markings on the upper petals. It is native to the Western Cape where it grows near streams or on hillsides.

pelargonium citronellum

Another lemon-scented pelargonium is P. crispum below which also has rough leaves but are much smaller in size with crisped margins. It is an upright plant that grows to about 70 cm /28 inches in height with large pink flowers and darker markings on the upper petals which shows some likeness to P. hermanniifolium.

Pelargonium vitifolium below has a somewhat lemony balm scent on the leaves, which resembles a vine leaf in shape with stiff hairs and are rough to the touch. It is a large upright shrub with coarsely toothed heart-shaped leaves, this shrub can grow quite large and may take over quite a wide area if not pruned in a Mediterranean type climate, it can also survive for short periods of frost or snow when fully grown.

Pelargonium species flower variations

Pelargonium grossularioides- fruit scented leaf

The pelargonium species are not only admired for their wide variety of leaf shapes, scents and floral colours but also for their flower and petal shapes.
Some types can vary and there are numerous differences in shape, size, nectar tube length and the number of petals.
Some have long oblong petals like that of P. grossularioides left, a fruit scented leaf pelargonium, the flowers of this species tend to be small in size, up to about 10 mm across and form a compact inflorescence of many short flower stalks, like an umbel. The upper petals have dark purple markings and very thin flower stalks. It is a low spreading plant with kidney-shaped leaves that are similar in appearance to a gooseberry leaf.

The purplish-pink flower petals of Pelargonium denticulatum below are also quite oblong but are not so elongated, the upper petal also bends back sightly and the lower petals are slightly smaller in size. Dark red or purple markings are visible on the upper petals, whereas the lower petals contain three petal claws (narrow stalks at the base of the segment). Each flower stalk contains up to six flowers, It is a low growing shrub with dark green sticky finely divided leaves.

Pelargonium denticulatium

The strong lemony balm scented pelargonium vitifolium below has two large upper petals with dark reddish-purple markings and three oblong lower petals with purple veins, at about 15 mm across and appears lighter at the centre. Each flowering stalk contains up to ten pink to light purplish-pink flowers and its leaves resemble that of a vine leaf. This plant is a large upright shrub with coarsely toothed heart-shaped leaves.

Pelargonium vitifolium

The flowers of Pelargonium cucullatum below have large ovate shaped upper petals, narrower at the base with purplish-pink markings & veins, the lower petals are slightly smaller and narrower with lighter pink veins. Each flower is 4 cm across and the flowering stalk contains about five flowers. It is an upright branching slightly woody shrub with rounded toothed leaves that tilt upwards forming a cup shape.

Pelargonium inquinans has red scarlet flowers but also has other colours such as light pink, salmon and white. The flower petals are more rounded and all appear the same size but the two upper petals are slightly smaller and upward, whereas the three lower petals are more equally spaced. The inflorescence contains an array of five to thirty flowers. It is an upright branching shrub with light green heart-shaped leaves with a velvety texture that is covered by glandular hairs.

Pelargonium inquinans

These flowers listed here are mostly pollinated by bees but others have different sized nectar tubes for various insects to pollinate them, such as beetles, moths, wasps, flies and various bee types that have long tongues.