|Pelargonium attenuatum Harv.
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Flora Capensis 1 (1860) 266.
Deciduous geophyte 200-300 mm tall when in flower, tuber turnip-shaped or elongated, sometimes moniliform.
Green, petiolate, lamina palmately compound with three main pinnae, 65-130 mm long, sometimes deeply incised, segments 35-50 mm long, 2-8 mm wide, sometimes laciniate with apices acute, sparsely hirsute with long appressed hairs, petiole 95-180 mm long. Stipules narrowly triangular, adnate to petioles for half their length.
Scape, bearing 2-3 pseudo-umbellets, each 4-7-flowered. Pedicel cca. 0.5 mm.
5, lanceolate, apices attenuate, 11-14 x 1.5-2.5 mm, patent during anthesis, green with membraneous margins. Hypanthium (16-)22-31 mm, green.
5, white, pale yellow or cream coloured, claws forming a sheath, apices patent or recurved, posterior two with wine-red markings in the centre, bases cuneate, apices rounded or obtuse, 31-42 x 2-4 mm, length/width ratio 10-11.5. Anterior three with a wine-red stripe in the centre, bases attenuate, apices rounded or obtuse, 28-38 x 1.5-2.5 mm.
5 fertile, concealed in the floral sheath, posterior one 2-2.5 mm, lateral two 3-4 mm, anterior two 5-6.5 mm long, pollen yellow.
P. attenuatum is an inhabitant of rocky fynbos mostly along the Olifantsriver and west of it, in the vicinity of Graafwater. Above are the eastern slopes of Pakhuispas, from where it apparently hasn't been reported before, and where it occupies the narrow band between the faces of cliffs and the steep thorny slopes. In nature, it flowers from November to January.
It's a steep one hour walk, and in the latter half a pretty exciting climb, from the pass at 922 m above sea level to the top of Faith (1095 m), the peak overseeing the road winding around it. The climb goes up the saddle between Faith and Hope (1065 m, the neighbouring peak). Both quite appropriately named, considering that climbing to the top is only half of the story and the descent can be equally as treacherous, requiring both faith and hope. However, the top offers breathtaking views in all directions, above is the view overlooking the eastern plains and the road towards Nieuwoudtville and Calvinia in the Northern Cape Province.
Marais E. M. (1997).
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