Pelargonium hirtipetalum E. M. Marais
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PELARGONIUM NOTES
S. Afr. J. Bot. 63 (1997) 82.
Section Hoarea

Habit

Deciduous geophyte 70-160 mm tall when in flower, tuber turnip-shaped or elongated root, occasionally with more than one stem-growing point.



Leaves
Radical, regularly pinnatisect; lamina elliptic in outline, 50-110 mm long, pinnae 15-40 mm long, irregularly pinnatilobed to pinnatisect, sometimes deeply incised so that segments are laciniate, segments 1-3 mm wide, apices obtuse, margins ciliate, adaxially sparsely hirsute and abaxially densely hirsute with appressed stiff hairs; petiole 25-95(-120) mm long, erecto-patent, densely hirsute with long and short appressed hairs; stipules 5-15 mm long, subulate, adnate to petioles for 1/2 their length.

Inflorescence
Scape 10-90 mm long, densely covered with glandular hairs and appressed curly hairs and sparsely interspersed with long erect hairs, branched, bearing 2-6 pseudo-umbellets with 3-8(-10) flowers each; peduncles 15-100 mm long, indumentum as on scape; bracts lanceolate, 2-4 mm long, abaxially densely hirsute with distally appressed hairs. Pedicel cca. 0.5 mm.


Sepals
5, lanceolate, apices acute, 7-11 x 1.2-3 mm, posterior one erect, others reflexed, indumentum abaxially as on hypanthium, reddish green margins white. Hypanthium 11-20(-25) mm long, 1.2-2.3 times as long as the sepals, pale green to reddish green, densely covered with glandular hairs and short appressed curly hairs.

Petals
5, yellow, adaxially and abaxially covered with soft hairs, claws forming a sheath and apices patent during anthesis; posterior two with wine-red feather-like markings, spathulate, laterally curved, 15-24 x 3.2-5.5 mm, length/width ratio 3.2-5, claws 6.5-12 mm long, apices rounded, truncate or emarginate; anterior three spathulate, 13-21 x 2.5-4.5 mm, apices rounded. 


Stamens
5 fertile, posterior one 1.5-3 mm, lateral two 4-6 mm, anterior two 6-7.5 mm, slightly shorter than the sepals, curved upwards during anthesis, white, anthers yellow, pollen orange. 

Distribution


Habitat

P. hirtipetalum is distributed along the Kamiesberg range, often found in disturbed areas or else very often beneath shrubs, in sandy soil. It flowers in October and November, and is easily recognisable due to the densely hairy petals, a character shared with only one other species, P. pubipetalum. This is another Kamiesberg rarity, however, it has very differently shaped petals.

Literature
S. Afr. J. Bot. 63 (1997) 82.

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