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Re: Triste

  • Subject: Re: Triste
  • From: maria guzman mirror@3RIVERS.NET
  • Date: Fri, 6 May 2005 09:30:58 -0600

>BlankHello - I wonder if anyone could give advice on propagating P.triste.

I've pasted below a couple of items I saved from several years ago (on
Fat-Plants I believe..).  I grew two triste's for a year but discarded them
to concentrate on hybrids in my limited space.  An interesting plant

>Pelargonium triste was the  first  Pelargonium species   introduced into
>cultivation.  It  has  a very   large   branched tuber   from which
>the annual flowering branches  and  leaves
are   produced. It  is  native  to  the Western   Cape
and  Southern  Cape areas   of   South  Africa, growing  in sandy soils.
It is a very  variable species.

>A  full grown plant is large, up  to  1  meter 3 feet) across.
Leaves are carrot  like,  being quite   finely divided,   and   very
hairy.     Flowers   are produced    on branched  stems,  and
are   variable from   almost   all yellow   through yellow     with
slight      brownish patches  on  the  lower   petals.   Easily  propagated
from  seed,  but   even easier   by   tuber   divisions. This species
should  be  grown  in  a  large container, as  the  tuberous  root  system
is very  large,  and  a  plant  will never  reach  the  beauty   of   a
mature  plant  in   a   small   container.
Plants  that  are   watered   all   year  tend   to   struggle   and
make    very weak  growth.   They   should   be   allowed dormancy
during     summer.


> P. pulverulentum and P. triste both grow from large tubers; the latter is
>generally included with the South African winter growers, however one
>school of thought considers them, along with many other seasonally-growing
>tuberous and caudiciform plants, as opportunists that take advantage of
>water whenever available. The wisest route is to observe and follow the
>plants' lead.  When I received a mixed shipment of mostly "winter-growing"
>tubers including two of pulverulentum and two of triste in early June
>about half had no leaves, the rest were already pushing out new ones.  I
>planted them all in a peat-based mix (they like a slightly acid soil with
>excellent drainage) with added sand and perlite, leaving the tuber tips
>exposed, and placed the dormant pots in our cool basement by a small
>window.  Within the month more woke up. However it's now October and
>several other species while obviously alive have yet to begin growing.  I
>expect this method is no different in principle from storing bulbs or
>tuberous begonias.

>Pulverulentum develops a very large tuber and produces annual stems from
>the top.  It's native to the summer-rainfall tall-grassland areas of the
>Eastern Cape, Transkei and Natal. Although it is considered a summer
>grower, mine are both happily ignoring the season and leafing out
>vigorously.  Leaves are rather large, blue-green, somewhat fleshy and vary
>widely.  Leaves of certain forms have a powdery bloom, others are densely
>hairy with undulating margins. Small flowers on long branched stems appear
>later and are pale yellow usually with faint  purple stripes on the

>Triste was the first pelargonium species introduced into cultivation and
>hails from the winter-rainfall area of southwestern Cape Province. It too
>grows a very large tuber and is highly variable; there are literally
>dozens of forms of P.triste.  One of my clones has feathery carrot-like
>leaves; the other almost resembles a deep green, leathery, highly
>segmented fern.  Flowers also vary from yellow with faint maroon stripe to
>purple-brown petals with thin yellow border.  Triste has produced fertile
>seed with  pulverulentum pollen; however I don't know if a vice-versa
>cross has succeeded.

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