Your support is critical to our success.
Accepted Scientific Name: Pelargonium praemorsum (Andrews) F.Dietr.
Lexic. Gartn. & Bot vii. 48 (1807).
Origin and Habitat: Pelargonium praemorsum subsp. praemorsum is widely distributed in Namaqualand.
Habitat and ecology: In this area they grow in winter. Summer is a resting period after the winter rains.
Pelargonium praemorsum (Andrews) F.Dietr.
Lexic. Gartn. & Bot vii. 48 (1807).
Pelargonium praemorsum subs. speciosum Scheltema
S. African J. Bot. 56(3): 297 (1990).
ENGLISH: five-fingered pelargonium, quinate-leaved pelargonium
Description: Pelargonium praemorsum is a semi-succulent, much-branched, small shrub with showy flowers that grows up to 90 cm tall in habitat after many years. It is usually much shorter growing in cultivation. Giving the right conditions Pelargonium praemorsum is a freely seeding plant, almost weedy, that has been identified with Pelargonium quinatum Sims.
Stems: Semi-succulent, much branched, distinctly jointed, narrow, flexuous, rather zigzag shaped, with the stem changing the angle of growth at each node. The old parts shining brown, the younger branches, the leaves and peduncles minutely scurfy. The main trunk gets thicker as plants mature and age. Internodes c. 2.5 cm long.
Leaves: On short petioles, rounded or somewhat reniform, sweetly spicy scented, about one 2.5 in diameter and are deeply divided into five lobes the laciniae bluntly 3- toothed or cleft, light green, scurfy-puberulous. Stipules minute, deltoid, rigid, persistent.
Inflorescence: Peduncles 1–2-flowered, patent, with 2–3 ovato-lanceolate, membranous bracts. Pedicels very short.
Flowers: Large (4-5 cm), with two very big upper petals (c. 38 mm long) and broadly obovate, emarginate, very much larger than the lower, but flowers with three lower petals are found. The calyx-tube with a rouh surface, is twice as long as the linear-lanceolate, acuminate, green, white-edged and ciliate sepals (12 or more mm long). Often the upper petals are creamy white to ivory, but pinkish flowered forms are occasionally found. The upper petals are lightly streaked with red, reddish-brown or dark purple. The lower ones are smaller spathulate white or sometime pink or purple. Style and 7 fertile stamens elongate, declined.}}
Subspecies, varieties, forms and cultivars of plants belonging to the Pelargonium praemorsum group
- Pelargonium praemorsum (Andrews) F.Dietr.: (subsp. praemorsum) usually has the leaf-lobes cut deeply. Flower 4-5 cm wide, 2 upper petals big (c. 38 mm long) streaked reddish-brown or purple, 2(-3) lower petals small creamy-white. Distribution: Namaqualand, Soud Africa.
- Pelargonium praemorsum subs. speciosum Scheltema: usually has notched edges indicating the five leaf lobes. Flowers extremely zygomorphic, upper 2 petals c. 38 mm long white and stripped in dark purple, lower 2(-3) small bright pink-violet. Distribution: Richtersveld near Khubus.
Bibliography: Major references and further lectures
1) W. H. Harvey “Flora Capensis”, Vol 1, 1894
2) “Geraniums Around the World” International Geranium Society, 2000
3) “Baileya”, Volumi Bailey Hortorium, New York State College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Cornell University., 1953
4) "Veld & Flora", Volume 77 Botanical Society of South Africa, 1991
5) Foden, W. & Potter, L. 2005. Pelargonium praemorsum (Andrews) F.Dietr. subsp. speciosum Scheltema. National Assessment: Red List of South African Plants version 2015.1. Accessed on 2016/12/27
Cultivation and Propagation: Pelargonium praemorsum with compact habit and showy flowers, is a good pot or rockery subject. This pelargonium seems very delicate. It has twiggy stems, no tuber or tuberous roots.
Soil: It does best with a mix that has almost no organic material at all. Perlite can be substituted for pumice, but it tends to rise to the surface of the mixture.
Waterings: Water in autumn, then in spring, at a minimum temperature of +14° C. Keep completely dry in summer and winter, at a minimum temperature of +8° C. Pelargonium alternans is a drought-resistant plant and do not need much water and will quickly respond to a small amount of water. Best in a small container.
Exposure: Requires bright light.
Hardiness: Needs cool nights in winter (5-15° C), followed by a mostly dry summer rest.
Manteinance: Needs minimal pruning to remain compact and full.
Propagation: Cuttings Take a stem cutting just below a node and remove the leaves from the bottom one or two nodes; roots will only develop from the region of a node; harden off the plants before transplanting them outdoors.
|Back to Geranium index|
|Back to Geraniaceae index|
|Back to Succulents Encyclopedia index|