|Pelargonium connivens E. M. Marais|
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S. Afr. J. Bot. 57 (1991) 61
Deciduous geophyte, 180 mm tall when in flower. Tuber elongated, branched.
Credit: ©Florent Grenier, reproduced with permission of the author.
Green, petiolate, lamina elliptic to ovate, 100-130 x 40-60 mm, iregularly pinnate to bipinnatisect, densely hirsute with distally appressed hairs and with glandular hairs interspersed, segments linear, 6-12 mm wide, apices acute, margins serrate. Stipules 7-14 x 1.5 mm, adnate to petioles with apices free.
Scape, bearing 2-3 pseudo-umbellets, each 10-30-flowered. Pedicel ca. 1 mm.
Credit: ©Colleen Rust, reproduced with permission of the author.
5, posterior one narrowly triangular, remaining four lanceolate, apices acuminate, 10 x 1.5-3 mm, recurved, pale green. Hypanthium 40-55 mm long, densely pilose with curly hairs interspersed with long glandular hairs.
5, cream-colured to salmon-pink, connivent, forming a sheath-like structure, posterior two with V-shaped pink markings, ligulate, slightly curved, bases cuneate, apices rounded, slightly recurved during anthesis, 24-28 x 4 mm, anterior three dimly marked pink at the very base, ligulate to spathulate, bases cunetae, apices rounded, patent during anthesis, 20-24 x 2.0-2.5 mm.
5 fertile, concealed in the floral sheath, posterior one ~2.5 mm, lateral two 4 mm, anterior two 10 mm, staminodes white, pollen orange.
Arguably one of the least known hoaeras, P. connivens was at long last recently "rediscovered" by F. Grenier, who writes about the long search in his excellent article. It was originally discovered by J. Lavranos, who brought it to the attention of Stellenbosch botanists in the 1980s and it hasn't been documented since. The original find was from a hill in the vicinity of Nieuwoudtville called Rondekop, pictured above, where it doesn't seem to have survived, possibly due to grazing. Flowering from December to January, P. connivens is a truly unique species.
E. M. Marais, Taxonomic Studies in Pelargonium, Section Hoarea (Geraniaceae), PhD Thesis, University of Stellenbosch, 1994.
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