|Pelargonium naviculifolium E. M. Marais
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South Afr. J. Bot. 113 (2017) 261-269
Deciduous geophyte, 100-200 mm tall when in flower, tuber turnip-shaped, elongated or moniliform root.
Radical, erecto-patent, simple [to pinnate with a small number of basal pinnae and a large main pinna, Ed.], petiolate, lamina lanceolate, 25-65 x 7-25 mm, recurved [or more often, not recurved, Ed.], base cuneate, apex acute, margin entire, adaxially hirsute with distally appressed long hairs, abaxially sometimes reddish purple, hirsute with distally appressed long hairs. Stipules subulate, adnate to petioles for half their length.
Scape, bearing 2 pseudo-umbellets, each 2-4-flowered. Pedicel ca. 0.5 mm.
5, patent during anthesis, lanceolate, acute, 8-11 x 1-3 mm, green. Hypanthium 8-10 mm, more or less the same length as the sepals, slightly curved, reddish-brown, hirsute with long appressed hairs interspersed with long glandular hairs.
5, white with undulate margins, claws forming a sheath with the apices recurved during anthesis, posterior two petals with conspicuous blotches in the centre and wine-red feather-like markings along the claws, widely spathulate, 17-24 x 6-8 mm, length/width ratio 3.0-3.2, laterally recurved, bases cuneate, apices rounded or emarginate, anterior three petals spathulate, 18-23 x 4.0-5.5 mm, bases attenuate, apices rounded.
5 fertile, concealed within the floral sheath, posterior filament ca. 3-4 mm long, lateral two ca. 4.0-5.5 mm, anterior two 6-7 mm long, curved upwards, anthers pink, pollen yellow [to white, Ed.].
P. naviculifolium was named for its recurved or boat-shaped laminas, however, these shapes cannot be frequently found in nature. In addition, adult leaves can occasionally have one or two pinnae. With its undulate petal margins and upwards curved anterior stamens, this taxon resembles P. trifoliolatum, although the leaf shape is different. It is found from Clanwilliam to Bainskloof in habitats with 300-500 mm annual rainfall and flowers in October-November.
This is a beautiful species with large, showy flowers. It appears to be much more widespread that the original publication seems to indicate, as populations are known as far south as Bainskloof.
Marais E. M. (2017).
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