Pelargonium aridum R. A. Dyer
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Campylia
Chorisma
Ciconium
Cortusina
Glaucophyllum
Hoarea
Isopetalum
Jenkinsonia
Ligularia
Myrrhidium
Otidia
Pelargonium
Peristera
Polyactium
Reniformia
Subsucculentia


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Sp. Pl. 3 (1800) 356.
Section Ciconium

Habit
Small tuft-like plant, poorly branched, deciduous in winter, with persistent lower parts of petioles, up to 120 mm high (to 250-500 when in flower). Stems covered with remains of old petioles, +/- woody, glabrous, green, but soon turning brownish grey.



Leaves
Digitate-pinnately compound, membraneous, with microscopical +/- adpressed haris interspersed with short glandular hairs, lamina orbicular in outline, up to 70 mm, pinnae pinnatisect, with almost linear divisions, apices acute, petiole up to 170 mm. Stipules narrowly triangular, 3-7 x 1.5-2 mm.

Inflorescence
A 2-5-flowered pseudo-umbel on a near-terminal unbranched peduncle. Pedicel 2-5 mm. Sometimes cleistogamous.


Sepals
5, narrowly ovate, apices acute, 7-12 x 1.5-2.5 mm. Hypanthium 12-60 mm.

Petals
White to creamy, cuneate with apices slightly retuse, with or without wine-red lines, posterior two 15-25 x 4-6 mm, gradually recurved, anterior 10-22 x 2.5-4 mm.

Stamens
7 fertile, 5 longer, 2 short.

Distribution


Habitat

P. aridum is widely distributed across central South Africa and is abundant around Cradock, which is where the above photograph is from, sharing the parched landscape with P. alchemilloides, P. laxum, P. worcesterae and an abundance of other pelargoniums and succulents.  

Synonims
dissectum (E. Mey.) Harv.
setosum
E. Mey.

Notes
Formerly section Ligularia, but suggested close relationship to sections Ciconium and Eumorpha by Albers F., Gibby M., Austmann M. (1992), and suggested transfer to Ciconium by de Marie E. (1990).


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