|Pelargonium karooicum Compton & Barnes|
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Trans. R. Soc. S. Afr. 19 (1931) 295.
Shrublet, branched mostly at the base, deciduous, rarely more than 20 cm high. Stems smooth, hard, apparently woody, yet succulent, greyish brown.
Digitately compound, succulent, covered with microscopical hairs, pale green. Lamina broadly ovate, 3-pinnate or 3-lobate, the sessile pinnae or lobes divided into linear segments, base cuneate, margins of segments poorly defined or entire, up to 20 x 25 mm, petiole quasi-persistent, stipules narrowly triangular, ca. 0.7 x 0.3 mm, membraneous.
Pseudo-umbel, usually 2-flowered. Pedicel up to 2 mm.
5, narrowly ovate, recurved at maturity, 5-6 x 1-1.5 mm. Hypanthium 9-14 mm.
5, white, pale yellow, pink, posterior two 16-19 x 3.5-5 mm, recurved at up to 180o, with wine-red feather-like markings, anterior three narrowly obovate-spathulate with rounded apices, 12-14(17) x 3.5-5 mm, reflexed at less than 90o.
5 fertile, 2 longer, 2 medium, 1 short.
P. karooicum has a very wide distribution, from Oudtshoorn to S Richtersveld, and is usually found in the shelter of bigger shrubs as in the photograph on top of this page, taken close to Aan De Doorn in the W Cape. When leafless, such plants are impossible to find, which may well be why it was described so late. The above plant from Anenous Pass is uncharacteristically solitary and well-branched, and enjoys the company of other beautiful shubby pelargoniums, such as P. crithmifolium and P. echinatum. If pruned, this species takes well to greenouse culture. For another photo of this species see under P. fumariifolium.
van der Walt J. J. A., Albers F., Gibby M. (1995).
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