Pelargonium auritum (L.) Willd.
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PELARGONIUM NOTES


Two varieties recognised:

Pelargonium auritum
var. auritum (L.) Willd.
     Spec. Plant. 3 (1800) 644.

Pelargonium auritum var. carneum (Harv.) E. M. Marais
     Taxonom. Stud. in Pelargonium, sect. Hoarea (Geraniaceae), Ph.D. Thesis, Univ. of Stellenbosch, 1994, p. 277.

Var. carneum can be distinguished from the type variety by the petal colour and by the absence of glandular hairs on the mericarps.

Section Hoarea

Habit
Acaulescent geophyte. (In the photograph:
P. auritum var. auritum.)



Leaves
Lamina elliptic to lanceolate, 20-130 mm long, Simple to irregularly deeply pinnatifid to bipinnatisect, hirsute with long appressed hairs. Petiole 1-9 cm long, prostrate to erect, hirsute with long appressed hairs and glandular hairs, stipules 1-3 cm long, adnate to the petiole.



Inflorescence
Branched scape, with 2-6 pseudo-umbels. Peduncle up to 11 cm, hirsute with both long soft hairs and long glandular hairs. Pedicel ~0.5 mm long. (In the photograph: P. auritum var. auritum.)



Sepals
5, lanceolate, posterior erect, others recurved. Hypanthium 8-20 mm, reddish.

Petals
Ligulate, rounded. 8-17x1.5-3.5 mm. Anterior slightly smaller. Petals dark purple black, undulate margins.

Stamens
5 fertile, all +/-the same length, anthers red, pollen orange.

Distribution
Left: auritum var. auritum, right: auritum var. carneum.

   

Habitat

The S slopes of the Langeberg range, just NE of Robertson, are intensively farmed, the vineyards extending from horizon to horizon. In the patches inbetween, P. auritum var. auritum thrives, its flowers resembling the intensive colour (but not the luxurious aroma) of the local shiraz. This is a region where a plant trip in the morning must be followed by wine tasting in the evening.

Illustration

R. Sweet, Geraniaceae: The Natural Order of Gerania, 1825, Tab. 263 (as Hoarea undulaeflora).

Synonyms
For P. auritum var. auritum:
atrum (Burmf. f.) L'Herit.
dioicum L'Her.
heterophyllum L'Herit.
hirsutum var. melananthum Harv.
melalonthon
Diet.
melananthon Jacq.
ovalifolium (Andr.) DC.
rhoeadifolium (Eckl. & Zeyh.) Steud.
undulaeflorum (Sweet) G. Don

For P. auritum var. carneum:
ensatum (Thunb.) DC.
hirsutum var. carneum Harv.
reticulatum DC.
strigosum (Eckl. & Zeyh.) Steud.

Literature
E. M. Marais, Taxonomic Studies in Pelargonium, Section Hoarea (Geraniaceae), PhD Thesis, University of Stellenbosch, 1994.



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