PRETTY PELARGONIUMS

Around 219 species of Pelargonium are found in South Africa, many of them with a long flowering season. The genus name is derived from the Greek word pelargos which means ‘stork’ and refers to the beak-like fruit of these plants. Here are some of these pretty blossoms seen recently in the Addo Elephant National Park.

This is possibly Pelargonium inquinans which is a soft, woody shrub that grows to a height of up to 2m. Several of these shrubs were growing in between the Spekboom hedges in the camping area, although a few scarlet flowers could be seen elsewhere in the park.

I think this beautiful flower might be Pelargonium exstipulatum. They can be seen all over the park and especially at Jack’s Picnic Site.

One really needs time (and a good guide!) to study these flowers in detail. I am guessing this is a Pelargonium botulinum, although they are more closely associated with coastal dunes in the southwestern and southern Cape.

Even if the names are wrong, the flowers remain attractive spots of colour in the veld.

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5 thoughts on “PRETTY PELARGONIUMS

  1. I love these plants–the sturdy ones, and even the “ivy” ones that trail. We call them geraniums and they can be kept as houseplants during the winter, then set outside. Some are scented, and one even keeps mosquitoes away.

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    • They are a delight – the ones that have been nurtured by horticulturalists over time for sale by nurserymen especially so. In the wild they appear to be less showy, yet are always a joy to see.

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