|Pelargonium heterophyllum Jacq.
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Collectanea 4 (1791) 197.
Deciduous geophyte 70-170 mm tall when in flower, tuber turnip-shaped.
Simple, trilobate or trifoliolate, bright green, petiolate. Lamina (or main pinna) ovate to trullate, base cuneate, apex obtuse, margin entire, 8-25 x 6-25 mm, small lateral pinnae ovate, 8-10 x 5-7 mm, adaxially glabrous or covered with short glandular hairs, abaxially glabrous or setose along the veins, margins with short appressed clavate bristle-like hairs. Petiole covered with short glandular haris interspersed with bristles ro clavate hairs. Stipules subulate or lanceolate, adnate to petioles fo less than 1/3 of their length.
Scape, bearing 2-6(-8) pseudo-umbellets, each 4-9(-11)-flowered. Pedicel cca. 0.5 mm.
Credit: ©Stephen Cousins, reproduced with permission of the author.
5, lanceolate, apices acute, 6-8 x 1-2.5 mm, patent, green, abaxially covered with short glandular hairs interspersed with short patent bristles. Hypanthium 9-15 mm, pale reddish brown, indumentum as on peduncle, sometimes with appressed curly hairs.
5, white or cream-coloured with undulate margins, claws patent during anthesis forming a floral sheath, posterior two with a prominent black blotch in the centre, ligulate, laterally curved, apices rounded or emarginate, 17-22 x 2.5-4.5 mm. Anterior three narrowly spathulate, bases attenuate, apices rounded, 15-20.5 x 2-3.5 mm.
5 fertile, concealed in the floral sheath, posterior one 1.5-3 mm, lateral two 2.5-5.5 mm, curved upwards, anterior two 4.5-7 mm long, curved upwards.
Due to habitat loss, P. heterophyllum is now found only in a few patches of renosterveld left around Darling, as well as a recently found new locality closer to Malmesbury, and is considered to be critically endangered. Luckily, there is considerable pressure to protect these remaining spots where healthy populations of this remarkable miniature hoarea can still be appreciated, thus hopefully ensuring its survival. The leaves and rosettes of P. heterophyllum are very similar to P. tenellum and P. chelidonium, however, their flowers differ markedly. P. heterophyllum flowers in October and November.
Marais E. M. (1991).
cavanillesii (Cav.) Knuth
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