Somewhat Strange & unusual pelargoniums

Pelargonium bowkeri has a somewhat strange yet impressive flowers, white to yellowy pink or purplish veins with feather like lower petals which forms an inflorescence of up to twelve flowers which blooms in Summer during the rainy period and is scented at night. It also has a tuberous root which stores water that grows to about 3 cm across. The leaves are feathery which is why it is also known as the carrot leaved pelargonium and is native to the Eastern cape, Kwazula-Natal where it grows in grassland or in rocky areas.

Pelargonium auritum has unusual & attractive flowers, which differ in colour depending on the variation. P. auritum var. auritum has dark purple black petals with red anthers and orange pollen and P. auritum var. carneum has white to light pink petals, which form an inflorescence of up to 6 flowers. It has a caudex tuber which grows to about 3 and a half cm across and is dormant in Summer, flowering from September until January The leaves are ellipse or lance-like in shape and is native to the Western and Eastern Cape.

P. antidysentericum has white, purple or pale purple flowers with deep purple streaks on the two upper petals which are larger than the lower and has orange pollen. This plant has a caudex tuber which grows to a thickness of 14 cm and is a turnip-like in shape, becoming woodier with age, the stems range from dark to light brown and the leaves grow on clusters of short branch-lets which are kidney-shaped with rounded lobes, some have a zone. It is native to the Northern Cape where it grows on mountainsides, shrubland, ravines and close to water. It was given the name antidysentericum because it was used as a cure against dysentery.

Pelargonium praemorsum is also known as the five-fingered pelargonium which has rather unique flowers, they are white to cream in colour with the upper petals being considerably larger than the lower petals with reddish or reddish-brown streaks, forming an inflorescence of 1-2 flowers. This plant is a weedy shrub let that is dormant in Summer, it also has a trunk that grows larger as it ages with narrow semi-succulent stems. The leaves are deeply divided, kidney-shaped or rounded and have a spicy sweet-scent.

P. klinghardtense is a somewhat strange but curious pelargonium with chunky succulent knotted stems. This plant doesn’t require much water and grows in rocky deserts in full sun, the flowers are white and contain five yellowy-green sepals on long branching stems. During the summer P. klinghardtense is dormant and loses its leaves which are large and glaucous. It is native to the Northern Cape and southern Namibia, to which it was given the name “Klinghardtense” because of the location where it was first discovered on the Klinghardt mountains.

Pelargonium punctatum also has extraordinary flowers, light yellow to light beige with elongated upper petals and dark reddish dots or markings, the three smaller lower petals also have red dots which flower in winter (October to the beginning of November). It has a caudex tuber which can grow to about 8cm and simple ovate leaves. This plant is native to Southern parts of Namaqualand and the Western Karoo where it grows in shrubland, hilltops and mountain ranges. The name “punctatum” refers to the red dots on the flower petals.

Pelargonium species with elegant white flowers

Pelargonium odoratissimum-apple scented leaf

The classical and elegant white flowers of the pelargonium species can look just as stunning in the garden as the other colour varieties especially when grown together to add colour and fragrance. They can also stand out against the green leaves of various shades, textures & shapes.
Pelargonium odoratissimum is especially a lovely low growing plant, not only because of its delightful white flowers with tiny purple blotches on the upper petals but also for its strong apple-scented rounded velvety crinkled leaves which grow well in medium-sized pots. It is similar to the Pelargonium album which means ‘white flowers’ in Latin to which the leaf stems are semi-succulent like that of P. odoratissimum although the leaves have a more minty apple fragrance. They grow well in shady mixed with other plants in a border. View on website

Pelargonium tomentosum-mint scented leaf

Pelargonium tomentosum has attractive clusters of small white flowers with bright purple markings on the upper petals arranged on long flower stalks, the leaves have a soft velvety texture with a peppermint fragrance, they grow well as ground cover, in pots or planted in the garden but prefer shade in hot climates. It is native to the Western Cape and the leaves can be used in baking. Pictured left

Pelargonium grandifolium pictured below has attractive large creamy white flowers with dark reddish markings on the upper petals and bluish green digitate leaves with a waxy texture. It is a slightly woody shrub native to South Western and Western Cape which is ideal as a border plant in a rock garden or grown in a pot. The name grandifolium means ‘large flower’ and was brought to Kew Gardens in the late 1700s by Francis Masson during his travels to South Africa. Pictured below right.

Pelargonium grandifolium

Pelargonium abrotanifolium has small dainty white flowers and purple markings on the upper petals with lovely feathery deeply divided greyish-green leaves which are aromatic. It is native to a large area of the Western Cape towards the Eastern Cape, of South Africa. This plants name is derived from the Latin meaning ‘Southern-wood leaves’ which refers to its likeness to the leaves of Artemisia abrotanum, a shrub, also connected to the Greek goddess Artemis the goddess of the hunt. Ideal growing with other low growing plants in the garden or in a medium-sized pot, pictured below.

Pelargonium abrotanifolium
Pelargonium scabrum-lemon scented leaf

Pelargonium scabrum has white or pink flowers with purple markings on the upper petals. A pretty pelargonium with lemon scented rhomboidal rough leaves. The name ‘scabrum’ is derived from the Latin meaning having a raised texture. It is native to the Western Cape, Northern Cape and Eastern Cape. Ideal for pots, fragrant gardens, rock gardens and succulent gardens. pictured below

view on website

Pelargonium mollicomum is a graceful plant with creamy white flowers and thin purple lines on the upper petals. This plant has a slightly exotic appearance with pineapple scented light green leaves, its name is derived from the Latin meaning soft hairs. It is native to the Eastern Cape and is ideal for fragrant gardens, window boxes, pots or hanging baskets. Pictured below, view on website

Pelargonium mollicomum-pineapple scented leaf

The flowers of Pelargonium peltatum are very attractive and can range in colour from white, pale pink to pale purple. The leaves are slightly succulent, rounded and fleshy with a light fragrance, resembling an ivy leaf. It is a trailing plant native to the Eastern and Western cape of South Africa which is ideal for hanging baskets, pots and planted next to other shrubs or trees, the leaves and petals have medical properties. pictured below

Pelargonium exstpulatum is a charming pelargonium with white flowers and dark reddish markings, the two upper petals are joined together and the lower is shaped like a spoon. The leaves have a sweet/spicy scent which are rhomboid and grey-green in colour. It is native to South Africa in the Southern Cape, in areas of the Klein Karoo and the Little Karoo. Ideal for pots or rock gardens in dry environments. pictured below

For more information on the Pelargonium species please visit our website at pelargonium species world

Pelargonium exstipulatum

Pelargonium Mirabile

Pelargonium Mirabile also known as the Admirable storks bill has thick branches which are dark brown or grey brown with wool like hairs and bark,
over time this plant can grow an immense number of branches and then develops into a small shrub.

In its natural habitat It usually loses its leaves during the Summer when it becomes dormant and has new growth when the rains begin in Autumn and becomes more bush like, the leaves are small greyish green, fan shaped and toothed with a tint of silver.

The flowers also come up during the rainy season and are white, light pink or purple with reddish blotches (usually one blotch on each petal) and thin veins on the top petals, each flower stalk contains up to 12 flowers.
This plant is native to desert areas of Namibia and is similar to P. crassicaule, but the branches are long and thin with a turnip like tuber and the leaves differ to that of P. Mirabile.

Pelargonium Succulents for the garden or greenhouse

Succulent pelargoniums such as the xerphytic types grow well in drought and have a tuberous root with woody stems or the Caudiciform which stores water in its stems or roots, can both look particularly lovely in a Zen garden where they can be grown like a bonsai with their simple leaves and branches with some even having succulent leaves.
Pelargonium gibbosum (gouty pelargonium)has long stems which become more woody as it matures, with toothed leaves which have a succulent leather like texture and lovely yellow flowers.
Pelargonium mirable has thick brownish woody stems which are simple in form with elegant flowers of white upper petals and pale purple lower petals, the leaves are greyish green and fan shaped.
Pelargonium barklyi has pleasant decorative heart shaped veined leaves on delicate stems which has an underground tuber and white flowers.
Pelargonium cotyledonis (old man live forever) native to the island of Saint Helena has thinly dispersed branches and heart shaped veined leaves and white flowers.
Pelargonium antidysentericum has a large caudex which is similar to a turnip in shape with kidney shaped leaves 3-5 deep lobed on thin stems and has small purple flowers. P. lobatum, P. crassicicaule, P. Desertotum, P. carnosum, P. klinghardtense, P. Crithmifolum, P. Ceratophylum and Sarcocaulon inermis are also great for this style garden.

Pelargonium gibbosum

Pelargonium gibbosum is growing well and has spread its long succulent branches outwards which can spread over a meter across and are swollen at the nodes. The leaves are also slightly succulent in appearance which are irregularly toothed, P. gibbosum can develop a thick mound over time up to 30 cm in height and then forms a caudiciform base.

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

Pelargonium crithmifolium

Pelargonium crithmifolium is growing well, it is a branching succulent pelargonium with thick fleshy stems green/yellow in colour and pinnately divided leaves into to small leaflets which have a ginger and nutmeg fragrance when crushed and white flowers. This plant was given the name Crithmifolium because the leaves look similar to the rock samphire crithmum maritimum an edible plant that grows in the wild on cliffs in coastal areas with fleshly aromatic leaves that is used in salads or pickled in vinegar.
P. crithmifolium is native to a large area from South western Namibia and the Western Cape Province.

Pelargonium aridum

Pelargonium aridum is now coming up to flower, it has lovely finely divided leaves and light yellow flowers which is native to a fairly large area of the Eastern Cape province. This plant is semi succulent and has a tuberous root, I will add more pictures of the opened flower in a few days time.

aridan flower pic facebookaridan flower pic facebook 2

pelargonium rapaceum

Pelargonium rapaceum is native to a large area of the Cape Province and has flowers which are similar to a pea flower in shades of yellow or pink with red markings on the upper petals & each flowering stalk containing about 10 flowers.
It grows from a large turnip shaped tuber, sometimes containing up to seven tubers which can be edible or used as medicine, the leaves are hairy and finely divided, and was first collected during the 1700s.
image from artscult.com

rapaceum pic

Hanging baskets

peli hanging basket

Many Pelargonium species can look beautiful in a hanging basket especially the slightly trailing types such as the Pelargonium peltatum shown in the picture. Smaller pelargoniums can also be planted together in one basket to add colour to the garden and the scented varieties release lovely fragrances.
Pelargoniums ideal for hanging baskets include: P. capitatum (rose), P. grossularioides (fruit), P. mollicomum (pineapple), P. crispum (lemon), P. peltatum, P. tomentosum (mint), P. exsitipulatum among others.