A greater percentage of native Pelargonium species
Are found in South Africa
Most of which are on the south west corner of south Africa, a region which has some rainfall during the winter months.
Approximately 20 Pelargoniums grow in East Africa and about 12 species grow in other areas of the world including Australia, New Zealand, Madagascar, Turkey, St Helena, Tristan da Cunha.
Australia’s pelargonium species include the p. Littorale, a perennial herb which has pink flowers found in coastal areas, also p. Drummondii & p. Australe.
P. Inodorum is native to New Zealand and Australia,it has pale pink flowers which grows in woodland and in forests.
The two tropical Islands St Helena and Tristan da Cunha in the south Altantic ocean also have Pelargonium species :
P. Cotyledonis is native to St Helena a white flowered succulent, local name is “ Old father live forever”
P. Grossularioides is an aromatic herb with coconut scented leaves found in Tristan da Cunha and South Africa ( a few have also been found in India, Australia and also Syria). It has light pink to purple flowers and gooseberry colour stems.
P. Endlicherianum has large pink/purple flowers and grows in mountainous regions in south west Turkey, some have also been found in Syria and Iran.
P. Quercetorum are very tall plants with large pink flowers which grow in turkey and Iran.
P. Cayae is a native to South East Madagascar and has large heart shaped leaves and pink flowers.
The Pelargonium species comprises of about 200 or more perennials, succulents and shrubs.
The Pelargonium species are unquestionably an enchanting and beautiful species with their graceful flowers and range of fragrant leaves in a variety of shapes that make these plants simply unique.
These amazing species native to South Africa are equally as appealing as Cultivars, Zonals & Regals and can look attractive in hanging baskets,pots and window boxes for any garden type.
The elegant & graceful flowers can range in tone from brightly coloured shades of red-pink to pastel shades of pale pink-purple & even light green making these plants ideal for adding that extra colour to your patio or balcony.
The Delicate & heavenly aromatic fragrance of Rose, Apple, Peppermint, Fruit,Lemon, Balsam,
Musk & more all have their own unique aroma and a delight to add to any scented garden.
The fancy leaf shapes also have their own special charm and can resemble that of an Oak, Vine, Southernwood, Birch, Dicondra, Gooseberry, Maple & Currant shaped leaves with a range of textures.
These enchanting & beautiful species have been a fascination for explores, plant collectors and artists since the 1600s when new trade routes began to unfold by the Dutch East India company & many more newly found pelargoniums were being discovered.
The Dutch East India company (VOC) started in 1602 and was created by 73 directors of Small trading organizations.
In 1651 Jan Van Riebeck was given a contract by the Dutch East India company to set up a station in South Africa for when Dutch ships arrived before their long wayward journey to the East.
P. triste was the first recorded pelargonium to travel to Europe & was taken to the botanical gardens of leiden by the VOC. This is a tuberous rooted plant which could withstand long voyages by ship.
They have become more admired over the centuries because of their delightful perfumed flowers and aromatic scented leaves.They have also gained popularity in the production of aromatic oils and also medicinal properties.
Pelargoniums are generally known as Geraniums but were later classed as two individual groups in 1789 by Charles L Heritier. The word pelargonium is derived from the Greek word “pelargos” meaning stork because the seed head resembles that of a stork.
Thousands of cultivated varieties of pelargoniums selected for their desirable characteristics, were originally from a few native species which may still exist in South Africa to this day.