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#4 pachycaul Pellys

> From: "Phil Bunch" <pbunch@cts.com>
> There has not been much discussion of the really pachycaul Pelargonium
> species.  Some of these have fantastic stems if you have not seen them. I
> like the following because they are great fat-plants that like the my
> climate.
> Pelargonium cortusifolium, very nice with smallish gray leaves and great
> flowers.  Starting to bloom nicely this month. One of my favorites.
> P. crithmifolium, big fat stems with fairly large pinnate leaves
> P. dasycaulon, also thick trunks and pinnate leaves.
> P. ferulaceaum, similar to the two previous species.
> P. xerophytum, smaller proportions than others mentioned so far but with a
> very strong bonsai character. The leaves are very small.
> P. alternans, also on the small side with small leaves and a moderately
> thickened trunk.  A natural bonsai-like species for smaller containers.  I
> have three of these, one an older plant with fairly mature stems and very
> tiny leaves.  The other two are much younger seedlings that have larger
> leaves.  I'm wondering if the leaves tend to get smaller as the plant
> matures or if there is a lot of variation in leaf size.
> These all do very well in Southern California just following the local
> seasonal patterns of temperature and rainfall.  I give them an occasional
> watering during the summer but keep them slightly moist or let them become
> just dry during the winter.  No feeding during the summer and 15-30-15
> teaspoon/gallon) during the winter with each watering.

Thanks for the lead in for todays group of fat/pachycaul Pelargoniums.  By
the way the installment after this will be on geophytes and though some are
minatures they often have large tuber/roots that can be raised to show off
the 'fat parts'.  Since the fat ones for today are spread across so many
Sections I've grouped them by Section and have also listed a few other
interesting species in each section.

+++++++++section Otidia
For the most part species from this section are from the winter rainfall
area from SW Africa into Namibia.  Stem succulence is the common adaption to
the arid environment where these species are found.  The 'review of the
section Otidia' published by the Geraniacea Group in 1991 lists 23 species.
I've included photos of 3 and listed a few others that are generally
available.  If anyone would like to see images of some of the others please
let me know and if I have one I'll try and post it.

This species in this section are often difficult to identify especially the
ones closest to carnosum.

Pelargonium crithmifolium:
The pictured plant is almost 2 feet tall.  The branching and persistent
inflorescence remains are distinguishing characteristics separating it from
the very similar looking P. paniculatum.

Pelargonium laxum:
This is the only species of the section that grows in both winter and summer
rainfall areas.  The seed grown ones have a much nicer growth form than
thoughts commonly available as cuttings.  Cuttings tend to grow long and
viney and seldom branch.  Seed grown plants form a nice pachycaul stem and
brance profusely.

Pelargonium rotundipetalum:
This one is very similar to P. carnosum except for the more rounded
predominately white flowers.

p. paniculatum
P. carnosum
P. alternans
P. ceratophyllum
P. dasyphyllum
P. klinghardtense

++++++++++++Section Cortusina
This section consists of plants from the desert and semi deserts of the
north western cape and Namibia.  Winter rainfall of less than 100mm
(4inches) plus sea fogs.

Pelargonium crassicaule:
Just a great looking species.  I've not been able to set seed on this
species.  I'd sure like to hear if anyones been successful setting and
germinatin seed.

Pelargonium Crassicaule - less chunky form (has been called P. mirable
though it is considered syn with p. crassicaule):

P. cortusifolium
P. echinatum
P. sibthorpiifolium

+++++++++++++Section Polyactium
Plants in this section have thickened roots or tubers.

Pelargonium gibbosum:
Just an interesting oddball with night scented flowers.  Easy to grow.

P. bowkeri
p. lobatum
P. luridum
P. pulverulentum
P. triste

++++++++++++Section Isopetalum

Pelargonium cotyledonis:
The only species in this section though there does appear to be 3 distinct
forms of this species.  From the island of St Helena in the southern
Atlantic.  The flowers are white, many and have a long bloom time.  Seed is
not easy to set.  Cuttings root easily.  For me it seems to chose its own
time to grow and when it is in growth can take watering freely.

++++++++++++Section Ligularia
A very diverse section so much so that it could end up being split up.

Pelargonium xerophyton:
>From the north western cape and Namibia area this species survives on less
than 200mm of winter rain. A schrublet with small leaves this species makes
nice bonsai.  The pictured plant is growing on lava rock with less than 1/4
inch of soil on the surface and is about 6 inches tall.

P. barklyi
p. crassipes
p. fulgidum
P. articulatum
p. hystrix
p. pulchellum
p. spinosum

Thats all the pachycauls for now.  Any specific requests for info on others?

This is a prevue of a species from the next installment of GetW.  Geophytes
with fat roots that can be raised for effect.

Keep Growing
Pete Liekkio
Seattle, Washington

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