Pelargonium carnosum (L.) L'Hér.
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PELARGONIUM NOTES
Key to subspecies: 

1a. Leaves pinnately incised, rather herbaceous, densely covered with partially very long hairs. 6-12 pseudoumbels per inflorescence. Simple root system without any thickenings.


     Pelargonium carnosum ssp. carnosum (L.) L'Hér.
     Hortus Kewensis 2 (1789) 421.

1b. Leaves bipinnately divided, slightly succulent and covered with microsopical papillae. Up to 50 pseudoumbels per inflorescence. Lateral roots form series of small tubers.

      Pelargonium carnosum ssp. ferulaceum  (Cav.) M. Becker & F. Albers
      Bothalia 39 (2009) 73-85.

Section Otidia

Habit
Succulent, branched shrub up to 70 cm (ssp. carnosum) or 20 cm (ssp. ferulaceum). Stems thickened, up to 30 mm
(ssp. carnosum) or 50 mm (ssp. ferulaceum). Bark green to brown, smooth. Branches are generally smooth, only sparsly hairy when young, usually with persistent remains of petioles.

P. carnosum ssp. carnosum

Leaves
Incised to pinnately divided, very variable, chanelled along the midrib, 3-25 cm long and 2-7 cm broad. Petioles 1-10 cm. Stipules membraneous, small.

Left:
P. carnosum ssp. carnosum; right: P. carnosum ssp. ferulaceum

Inflorescence
Branched inflorescence with pseudumbels of 4-6 flowers. Pedicel 3-5 mm.

P. carnosum ssp. carnosum


P. carnosum ssp. carnosum


P. carnosum ssp. ferulaceum


P. carnosum ssp. ferulaceum inflorescence.


A flower of P. carnosum ssp. ferulaceum A&B4435 from close to Worcester, with the unusual pink stripes on all five petals.

Sepals
5, lanceolate, recurved. Hypanthium 8-9 mm.

Petals
White to pink, posterior cca. 7x(3-4) mm, slightly reflexed, with markings or stripes, anterior smaller.

Stamens
5 fertile, equal in legth.

Distribution

Triangles: P. carnosum ssp. carnosum, circles: 
P. carnosum ssp. ferulaceum. In the geographic region between the two distributions, intermediate forms and hybrids exist, also with other taxa from the Otidia section.
 

Habitat

P. carnosum ssp. ferulaceum in the common of the picturesque town of Matjiesfontein. Other otidias are usually found around here, P. alternans, P. crithmifolium and a little north of this area, the new P. pachypodium. P. carnosum occupies extremely varied ecological niches, from the arid Karoo to rain-drenched hill slopes just north of Cape Town, where a form of P. carnosum ssp. carnosum with thin stems and small leaves keeps company to P. tenellum (for a photo see there). 

Synonyms
burmannianum (Eckl. & Zeyh.) Steud. 
crassicaule
E. Mey. 
ferulaceum (Burm. f.) Willd.
mammulosum
Wendl.
sisonifolium Baker


Literature
Becker M., Albers F. (2009).


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