PELARGONIUM OF THE MONTH-PELARGONIUM CORONIFOLIUM

Pelargonium coronifolium has delicate pink, purple or white flowers consisting of two larger upper petals that bend upwards with darker botches and  three smaller petals below. The  leaves are long, narrow and oval in shape with irregular teeth along the leaf margins, grey green in colour. This plant is an upright small shrub species that is native to the Western Cape, South Africa where it grows in dry areas on sloping sandstone or on the lower mountains of the South Western Cape, it is of the Campylia section and was first mentioned by the Dutch scientist Nikolaus Joseph Van Jacquin in his third book Icones Plantarum Rariorm 1794. P coronifolium can also produce identical plants because of its underground branching, some types have narrower leaves which some believe to be a subspecies. The word coronifolium refers to the plant Cornopus (swine-cress) which is similar in appearance to this pelargonium.

Pelargonium crispum

Pelargonium crispum is now flowering for the first time, it is an upright branching slightly woody shrub that grows to 70cm (28in) with small fan shaped lemon scented leaves which are crisped around the edges.

Essential oils can be extracted from the leaves and is native to the South Western Cape where it grows on mountain sides and rocky areas.

Pelargonium peltatum

peltatum is now flowering and each plant can vary from clusters of white, pink to purplish pink flowers, it has slight scented leaves that resemble an Ivy leaf some with a dark zone in the Centre. The Sap can be used to treat skin injuries such as cuts & burns and also can be taken orally to treat inflammation of the throat, as well as a skin wash.

This plant has trailing branches which can grow up into trees, trellis and over hanging baskets, it is also semi succulent so it can grow well in dry areas.

peltatum in its native habitat grows over a large area of the Cape province in arid and coastal regions with summer-winter rainfall , the name peltatum derives from the Latin meaning shield referring to the leaf shape of this plant.

Pelargonium ionidiflorum

Pelargonium ionidiflorum also known as the violet flower pelargonium is growing well.

It is a low growing shrub let with bright green aromatic leaves which have a celery like scent and the elegant flowers are pale pink to a darker shade of violet.

This plant is native to the Eastern Cape where it grows in rocky areas or among other plants with rain all year round, hot summers and fairly cold winters.

The name iondiflorum  refers to the violet colour of the flowers and the hybrid pelargoniums Deerwood lavender lass and Deerwood lavender lad are derived from this plant.

 

Pelargonium luridum

Pelargonium luridum has graceful clusters of cream,beige,yellow,pink or red flowers on long stalks which are night scented. It is a tuberous plant and the leaves grow from ground level without stems, The leaves are feather like and change slightly with age, when young they are more ovate in shape and when mature are divided more into leaflets. The name P. luridum is derived from the Latin word meaning smoky yellow, this refers to the colour of this plants petals and is native to a wide area of South Africa, Cape province,Natal,Orange Free State and Transvaal usually in grassland and damp areas. In the early 1800’s this plant was listed as a geranium by Henry Charles Andrews an English botanist and botanical artist who illustrated & published five books on botany from 1797-1888.

A root of P. luridum was sent to England from South Africa to Robert Sweet, an English botanist and horticulturist who mentions in his works about a plant that had not flowered, although a little later when the plant grew bigger and bloomed he knew it was the same species as Henry Charles Andrews and changed the botanical name geranium to pelargonium luridum which was mentioned in the colvill catalogue 1822.

pelargonium luridum

Pelargonium sibthorpiifolium

P. sibthorpiifolium

P. sibthorpiifolium is an unusual and critically endangered xerophyte pelargonium that grows in Northern and Southern areas of the Orange river, Luderitz to Alexander bay along the coast, in dunes and desert which has humidity deep in the sand with very hot & dry conditions.

The name sibthorpiifolium refers to the leaf shape of this species which resembles that of a sibthorpia plant also known as a Cornish moneywort found in Western Europe and also Greece, Crete & parts of Africa.

This plant is rare mainly because it has numerous tubers which dies away and is then difficult to find,

and is also threatened by habitat loss and mining, it can only be seen for a certain amount of time and has not cultivated that much in Europe.

In 1779 Pelargonium Sibthorpiifolium was discovered by William Paterson (a Scottish colonel, explorer & botanist) and Robert Jacob Gordon (a Dutch officer, explorer & naturalist) when they were exploring and studying areas of South Africa, but was not again discovered a long time after this period.

The leaves are kidney shaped mid to grayish green and has underground tubers,The flowers are white with pale pink and purple markings on the petals, similar to P. cortusifolium.

Pelargonium oreophilum

P. oreophilum is a succulent pelargonium with think stems, it has large pink flowers and darker pink markings on both upper and lower petals, The leaves are oval in outline and feathery in appearance.

The name oreophilum originates from Greek meaning “loving mountain” because it grows in mountainous areas of the South Western Cape province.

p. oreophilum