Pelargonium trifoliolatum (Eckl. & Zeyh.) E. M. Marais
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Campylia
Chorisma
Ciconium
Cortusina
Glaucophyllum
Hoarea
Isopetalum
Jenkinsonia
Ligularia
Myrrhidium
Otidia
Pelargonium
Peristera
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Subsucculentia


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South Afr. J. Bot. 59 (1993) 131.
Section Hoarea

Habit
Acaulescent geophyte.


Leaves
Pinnate, 5-17 cm long, pinnae ~10x~5 mm, hirsute with appressed longer hairs and glandular hairs. Petiole 5-15 cm long, stipules 1.5-3 cm long, hirsute. (Note the unusually larger terminal pinna in the photo above.)

Inflorescence
Branched scape, with 2-5 pseudo-umbels. Peduncle up to 16 cm, hirsute with both long soft hairs and glandular hairs. Pedicel ~0.5 mm long.


Sepals
5, lanceolate. Hypanthium 10-15 mm (max. 25).

Petals
Cream, yellow or pink, ligulate to narrowly obovate, undulate. Posterior with wine-red markings, 14-21x2.5-6.5 mm. Anterior slightly smaller.

Stamens
5 fertile, two longer, the other three shorter +/-the same length.

Distribution


Habitat

Valley beneath Matroosberg (2249 m) - the highest peak in Hexrivierberge, a ski resort 120 km NE of Cape Town. The lower slopes occasionally see snowfall and can be very wet in wintertime, but have good populations of P. trifoliolatum.
The above photographs are of plants from this location.


P. rapaceum probably not relishing permanently wet feet at ~10 oC
beneath Matroosberg during early August 2014, showing the extraordinary resilience of some hoareas to a range of growth conditions. No wonder some can adapt to greenhouse torture pretty well, although growers will agree that trying to grow them as marsh plants will result in certain and untimely demise.


P. trifoliolatum from Du Toit's Kloof, a remarkably different flower, with less petal undulation, less marked posterior petal curvature, but with added striking blotches on anterior petals compared to the Matroosberg plant. Note also that in the Matroosberg plant the anterior anthers almost block the flower entrance, while in the 
Du Toit's Kloof plant the two anthers are aligned with the rest: sign of adaptation to a different pollinator? Both habitats are reasonably wet, in Du Toit's Kloof, the plants share it with P. ternifolium.       

Synonim
trifoliatum (Eckl. & Zeyh.) Steud. nom. inval. 

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

Acknowledgement
With grateful thanks to Dr E. M. Marais for discussions of this species.


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