Pelargonium multibracteatum

The new plant Pelargonium multibracteatum is doing well and has some new leaf growth on its thick stems.

It has spreading branches and slightly scented light green circular leaves, lobed with rounded margins and purple zoned.
When in bloom the flowers are white with a slight shade of pink at the center, and each flowering stalk bears up to 10 flowers.

The name multibracteatum refers to the numerous bracts of this plant and is native to East Africa, Tanzania to Ethiopia where it grows to about 30 cm in height under the section Cironium.

There may be a delay with the dispatch of orders at this time due to temporary suspension of the Elta Hellenic post (problem with the IT system.)
But hopefully it will be resolved in the coming days.

We are currently working on seed packet designs of all pelargonium species available in our store.
They contain a small but detailed description of each plant with a outline drawing of the flower & 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.

Book -Pelargoniums Diana miller


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 nephrophyllum has delicate pastel pink to salmon pink flowers and peachy red lines and blotches, with two larger upper petals and three smaller lower petals containing 5 stamens with orange pollen and long pink anthers, the flowers usually come up before new growth appears after being dormant in Summer.
It has unusual kidney shaded leaves with scalloped leaf margins & a turnip shaped tuber which can grow to approximately 2 cm and grows during the winter which is native to Southern Namaqualand, South Africa in sandy shrub land areas, stony reddish pink soil or in between hills.
This plant was given its name in 1992 by Elizabeth M, Marais and is of the Hoarea section also its national status is endangered.

Flower of the month- Pelargonium hirtum

p. hirtum sketch latest

Pelargonium hirtum has lovely purplish magnolia to pink flowers which attracts butterflies and bees, the leaves are finely divided and hairy with many leaflets which resembles a carrot leaf and is slightly aromatic.
It is a semi succulent shrub with fleshy upright stems which grows to about 30 cm in height with a bushy growth & the delicate flower stalks contain 3-8 flowers.
P hirtum grows well in pots and as ground cover, in rock gardens or/and on sandy soils in full sun to part shade in acid neutral type soil.
This plant is native to the Eastern Cape where it grows among stone ledges, slopes and sandy areas.

Pelargonium hirtum also known as the fine leaved pelargonium has been grown in the gardens of Europe since the late 1700s.
The name hirtum is derived from the Latin word “ hirtus” meaning shaggy, hairy or with thick growth, this refers to the hairy leaves of this plant.

Pelargonium x citronellum- Mabel grey

Pelargonium x citronellum known as Mabel grey is an upright shrub with rough palmate (maple shaped) grey green leaves and pale pinkish purple flowers, it is said to be the strongest lemon scented pelargonium and some regard this plant as a species native to the South Eastern Western Cape on the foothills of the Langeberg mountains & close to streams. Although it is also suggested to be a cross between P. Scabrum (lemon scented leaf) and P. Hispidum (balsam scented leaf) presented in 1962 and named after Countess de Grey (a British aristocrat in Bedfordshire) by her daughter Lady Baring wife of Sir Evelyn baring, governor in Kenya 1952-1959

p x citronellum mabel grey

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 tricolor

Pelargonium tricolor- meaning three coloured flowers.

This remarkable species with its natural three coloured petals resemble that of a pansy which grows wild in areas of the Eastern and Western Cape in Langeberg, Swartberg and the Outeniqua mountains under taller plants for shade. It grows in Zone 2 (winter rain without frost) and Zone 3 (the Karoo area-winter rain with light frost)

Pelargonium tricolor is a low growing shrub with greyish green leaves, long and ellipse in shape and unevenly toothed. Each flowing stalk contains about 2-4 flowers, the lower petals are mainly white while the upper petals usually contain three colours of white,pink and deep red.

When this plant grows in shade the flowers are usually larger and more showy, but when it grows in full sun the flowers are smaller in size.

During the late 1700s Francis Masson collected this species during his travels to Africa which was then brought back to the UK. In 1958 the hybrid cultivar “Splendide” was created from this species and crossed between Pelargonium Ovale named by the Royal Horticultural society, other names of this hybrid include P. violareum and P.violaceum.


Pelargonium leaf types

leaf pic facebook

The amazing thing about Pelargoniums is not only the aromatic leaf fragrances & the elegant flowers but also the wide variety of leaf shapes, Many pelargonium species especially the more scented varieties have leaves that resemble other plants and can look similar to the leaves of an oak, grape vine, fern,birch, currant leaves, gooseberry, maple & ivy.

Some leaf types are more rounded in shape such as the P. odoratissmum (apple scented) and the P. grossularioides (gooseberry leaved fruit scented), where as the P. cucullatum (birch leaved), P. citronellum (lemon scented) & the P. vitifolium have more irregular rounded to triangular leaves.

P. radens (rose/lemon scented), P. quericifolium (balsam oak leaf) and P. denticulatum (balsam scented) have finely divided leaves,

P. elongatum, P. mollicomum (pineapple scented) , P. peltatum & P. Zonale all have zoned leaves

P. betulium – birch leaf

P. fruticosum- fern leaf

P. grossularioides- gooseberry

P. hirtum- feathery leaves

P. hispidum- maple

P. otaviense – paw like

P. panduriforme – fiddle shaped

P. peltatum – ivy leaf

P. quercifolium – oak

P. ribifolium- currant leaf

P. vitifolium – vine leaf