Pelargonium ionidiflorum

Pelargonium ionidiflorum is now flowering with its lovely magenta coloured flowers and bright green divided leaves which has a scent similar to celery and does well in hanging baskets. It is a low growing shrub native to the Eastern Cape, South Africa where it grows in rocky areas.

p. ionidiflorum 3 edited

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 crassipes

Pelargonium crassipes has lovely small pink flowers with darker pink markings, this plant is native to Namaqualand in Namiba , South Africa where it grows in arid conditions. It is a low growing shrub up to 30 cm 12 in height, The stems are short with many petioles and finely divided oblong shaped leaves.

crassipes was first discovered by Francis Masson, the Scottish botanist who traveled to Africa in search of new species 1772-1775

pelargonium crassipes

 

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 exstipulatum

Pelargonium exstipulatum is an attractive woody shrub with aromatic pungent slightly rhomboid velvety grey green leaves, each flowering stalk contains 1-5 flowers which are pale pink to purple pink in colour with darker markings on the upper petals, the lower petals tend to be more spread out and spoon like in shape. The name exstipulatum is derived from the Latin word ex (without) and Stipula (stipule) meaning “without stipules” (without a  leaflike appendage between a stem and a petiole).

This plant is native to sandy rocky areas of the Southern Cape, Klein Karoo which has winter rainfall without frost and was also grown by the Countess of Strathmore during the Late 1700s.

Pelargonium antidysentericum

p. antidysentericum web small

Pelargonium antidysentericum is a upright or trailing plant that can grow into a large shrub and becomes more woody with age. This pelargonium has pale purple to mid purple flowers with pinkish purple markings, each flowering stalk contains 2-5 flowers. It is aromatic with an underground tuber which can grow to 14 cm across, the leaves are kidney shaped & 5 lobed but can vary, some types are zoned and are greyish green in colour while others are light green without being zoned, there are said to be three subspecies of this plant.

The name “antidysentericum” is derived from the pharmacological word antidysenteric meaning medicine for dysentery, the Khoikhoi (hottentots) aboriginal people of South Africa used this plant to treat dysentery and also for anemia. It was given the name by Vincenz Franz Kosteletzky a bohemian doctor and botanist who studied medicinal plants (1801-1887).

Pelargonium antidysentericum grows in South Africa in the Northern Cape where it grows on hillsides in rocky areas.

 

Pelargonium campestre

p. campestre small web

Pelargonium Campestre has lovely white flowers with faint lines on the upper petals. It is a small tuberous pelargonium which grows up to 10 cm in height, the name “Campestre” is derived from the Latin word meaning country/rural referring to the native habitat where this plant grows. This plant is native to South Africa in the South East where it grows in meadows, near rivers or by the coast and it prefers well drained soil conditions in part shade to full sun.

Pelargonium auritum

p. auritum sketch latest

Pelargonium auritum has striking dark purple flowers with black markings & a white base, the leaves are elliptic or narrow oval shaped although they can vary with each plant. It has a tuberous root and grows to about 10 cm (4 inches) & is native to South Africa in areas of the South Western cape.

There are two forms of this plant which can be identified by the colour of the flowers

  1. auritium var. auritum-purple/black flowers
  2. auritium var. carneum-white/cream/pink flowers

P. schlechteri

P.schlechteri is a beautiful pelargonium with an inflorescence of bio coloured mauve,maroon or purple flowers edged with beige or white. The leaves are ovate in shape,thicker at the base with a leathery texture.

It is believed that this plant was named after the botanist and taxonomist Rudolf Schechter who collected plants during his expedition to Africa from 1891 and later to Indonesia & Australia, Rudolf is said to have discovered 1000 species of orchids and wrote many books on botany.

Pelargonium schlechteri is native to South Africa in North Drakensberg, Kwazulu Natal, Mpumlanga and the Eastern Cape where it grows in high altitudes, close to streams or among large rocks.

p.schlechteri

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