Pelargonium leptum L. Bolus
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Campylia
Chorisma
Ciconium
Cortusina
Glaucophyllum
Hoarea
Isopetalum
Jenkinsonia
Ligularia
Myrrhidium
Otidia
Pelargonium
Peristera
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Reniformia
Subsucculentia


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South African Gardening and Country Life 22 (1932) 229, 232.
Section Hoarea

Habit
Acaulescent geophyte.


Leaves
Laminae trullate or triangular in outline, 70-210 x 70-190 mm, irregularly pinnate to bipinnatisect, pinnae linear, 1-4(10) mm wide, margins entire, hirsute with long stiff adpressed hairs, petiole 25-210 mm, erect, stipules subulate, adnate to petioles for half their length.


Inflorescence
Scape, 50-150 mm long, branched, with 3-7 pseudo umbels, each with 6-12 flowers. Peduncles 55-110 mm, pedicel ~0.5 mm.


Sepals
5, lanceolate, recurved, 9-13 x 1-3 mm. Hypanthium 12-30.

Petals
5, white, cream to pale yellow or pale pink, claws forming a sheath, apices patent or recurved, posterior with wine-red feather-like markings, ligulate, 21-28(30) x 2-3(6) mm, anterior with a wine-red stripe, ligulate, 18-26 x 1.5-2(5) mm.

Stamens
5 fertile, concealed in the floral sheath, posterior 2-4, lateral two 2.5-5, anterior two 3.5-6.5 mm, white.

Distribution


Habitat

A colony of P. leptum in a shallow pan of sand: these are minute plants with equally minute tubers growing in no more than 2 cm of pure sand. It would be safe to assume that they spend periods of time immersed in water and periods of time entirely dried out and baked. And most of the time out of sight - these are really difficult to spot. However, in flower they are indescribably beautiful and showy, with petals up to 30 x 6 mm, well exceeding those of the southern populations. 


The top of Gifbergpas is populated by restios and fairly large bushes wherever there is enough soil. Where it becomes thin, minute succulents start to prevail. This is a new habitat for P. leptum, about 50 km north from Clanwilliam, until now the northernmost known location for this species, which is usually found between Paarl and Malmesbury.  


Minuscule succulents such as the aptly named Conophytum minusculum share this land of Lilliput. Come early spring, these barely noticeable plants are completely covered in large pink flowers.

Literature
Marais E. M. (1991).

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