Pelargonium aciculatum E. M. Marais
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Cortusina
Glaucophyllum
Hoarea
Isopetalum
Jenkinsonia
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Pelargonium
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South African Journal of Botany 57 (1991) 55.
Section Hoarea

Habit
Acaulescent geophyte, tuber elongated, roots branched. Sometimes more than one stem-growing point.


Leaves
Lamina elliptic, 100-140 x 35-60(80) mm, irregularly deeply pinnatilobed to bipinnatisect, densely hirsute with distally appressed hairs and glandular hairs interspersed, segments linear, 6-12 mm wide, apices acute, margins serrate. Petiole 50-130 mm, stipules subulate, 18-25 x 2 mm, adnate to petiole with apices free.

Inflorescence
Scape, bearing 2-4 pseudo-umbellets, each 13-32(40)-flowered. Pedicel cca. 1 mm.


Sepals
5, lanceolate, apices acuminate, 7-9 x 1.5-3 mm, posterior erect, others recurved. Hypanthium 12-16 mm.

Petals
5, pale yellow or cream-coloured, claws orientated close together to form a sheath-like structure, posterior two with red markings, ligulate, curved laterally, apices rounded to emarginate, 11-13.5 x 2-3.5 mm, anterior three marked
dimly pink at the very base, spathulate, 9-10 x 2-2.5 mm.

Stamens
5 fertile, posterior cca. 1 mm, lateral two 2 mm, recurved, anterior two 6.5-8.0 mm, protruding from the flower.

Distribution


Habitat

P. aciculatum is one of the larger hoareas with upright leaves, often found in significant colonies on lower hillsides. It is quite remarkable that it was described as a new species as recently as 1991.


Kapteinskloof in the Piketberg, although mere two hours away from Capetown, is a fairly isolated and narrow valley with sandveld cottages strewn along the stream. P. aciculatum is being kept company by baboons once the lush orange-tree orchards stop and nature takes over.


P. aciculatum across Verlorenvlei just opposite Elands Bay in W Cape, growing in a dry spot with wntire laminas and generally smaller leaves than the more typical Kapteinskloof plants shown above. This habitat is very close to the Atlantic and is shared with P. appendiculatum


Verlorenvlei, a paradise for birdwatchers, just before it disappears into the ocean close to Elands Bay. Few venture here except those seriously interested in fishing or surfing (or indeed in the superb local seafood).


Large colonies of Conophytum obcordellum ssp. rolfii are found on the southern slopes of hills around Elands Bay, such as here - in the middle of a gravel road! This is the ginger cousin of the well-decorated cono featured on the P. pallidoflavum page.  

Literature
Marais E. M. (1991).

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