|Pelargonium capitatum (L.) L'Hérit.|
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Ait. Hort. Kew. ed. 1, 2 (1789) 425.
Decumbent, spreading, weakly erect plant with stems becoming woody at base, <1 m high. Individual branches up to 60 cm.
Lamina simple, densely villous with glandular hairs interspersed (sweetly scented), base cordate, shallowly to deeply 3-6 lobed, cca. 4,5 x 6 cm, margin toothed. Petiole <4 cm. Stipules cordate.
Capitate (dense umbels) with 8-20 flowers. Peduncle <10 cm, villous, erect. Pedicel 1 mm.
5, triangular ovate, villous. Hypanthium 3 mm.
Petals pink, posterior narrowly obovate, with dark pink veines, 18 x 5 mm, anterior slightly smaller, with less prominent markings.
7 fertile, of +/- the same length.
P. capitatum is abundant on beaches of the Cape Peninsula, but probobably used to be equally abundant on Cape flats, of which only small stretches remain. The unlikely Kenilworth Racecourse Conservation Area is well worth a visit showing how marshy these habitats used to be. Even if small, this one is protected by triple fencing - being in the middle of a racecourse! Lachenalia reflexa seems to be enjoying the occasional race.
The beautiful parrot-beaked tortoise, Homopus areolatus, is luckily very common in the Kenilworth Conservation Area.
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