|Pelargonium viciifolium DC.
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Prodromus 1 (1824) 653
Acaulescent geophyte, 120-300 mm when in flower. Tuber turnip-shaped.
Lamina pinnate, (20-)50-120 mm long, pinnae ovate, acute, 4-12(-16) x 3-6(-10) mm, the terminal pinna usually larger, hirsute with appressed hairs interspersed with glandular hairs. Stipules (9-)15-30(-40) mm long.
Branched, with 2-5 pseudo-umbels, with 7-19 flowers. peduncles 50-180 mm long, hirsute with appressed curly hairs interspersed with long soft patent hairts as well as short glandular hairs. Pedicel 0.5 mm.
Credit: ©Riaan van der Walt, reproduced with permission of the author.
5, lanceolate, 5-9 x 1-3 mm, posterior erect, others patent to recurved. Hypanthium (15-)20-35(-38) mm, densely hirsute with distally appressed curly hairs interspersed with long soft patent hairs as well as short and long glandular hairs.
Petals 5, yellow to creamy yellow, posterior two with feather-like wine-red markings, ligulate, apices rounded to emarginate, 14-22 x 2-4 mm, anterior three narrowly spathulate, 11-19 x 2-3 mm.
5 fertile, posterior one 2-3 mm, lateral two 3-4 mm, anterior two 4.5-6 mm long.
P. viciifolium is a Swartland and Cape coastal plain species, much of which has been developed into housing or agricultural land, so its distribution is now quite limited. It is most similar to P. pinnatum, however, this has fewer flowers per inflorescence and spathulate, non-undulate petals. The above photo is of an exceptionally beautiful speciment with markings on all five petals, which is quite exceptional.
E.M. Marais (1993).
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