|Pelargonium nummulifolium Salisb.
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Parad. Londinensis 1 (1806) t. 23.
Deciduous geophyte 110-150 mm tall when in flower, tuber turnip-shaped or elongated, sometimes moniliform, crowned with numerous prostrate leaves.
Greyish green, simple, petiolate, lamina ovate or cordiform, base truncate or cordate, apex obtuse, margin entire, 18-28 x 13-22 mm, adaxially densely hirsute with long appressed stiff hairs interspersed with short glandular hairs, abaxially sparsely hirsute with appressed hairs interspersed with short glandular hairs mainly along the large veins. Petiole 12-55 mm long. Stipules subulate, adnate to petioles for half their length.
Scape, bearing 2 pseudo-umbellets, each 3-5-flowered. Pedicel cca. 0.5 mm.
5, lanceolate, apices attenuate, 9-10 x 2-3 mm, patent, reddish brown to green, hirsute with appressed curly hairs interspersed with glandular hairs. Hypanthium 25-40 mm, pale reddish green, densely covered with glandular hairs sparsely interspersed with coarse patent hairs.
5, bright pink or flesh-coloured, patent during anthesis, posterior two with wine-red feather-like markings, obovate to widely obovate or obcordate, bases cuneate, apices rounded or truncate, 20-23 x 7.5-10 mm. Anterior three widely spathulate, bases narrowly cuneate, apices rounded or truncate, 18-21 x 5-6 mm.
5 fertile, straight during anthesis, posterior one 7 mm long, lateral two 9-10 mm long, anterior two 11.5-12 mm long, white, pollen orange.
P. nummulifolium is known from a small and not easily accessible area in the Du Toitskloof Mountains, where montane fynbos is dominant and there is abundant rainfall of more than 1000 mm. It flowers from December to March.
This is an alpine species with densely arranged leaves and often growing in large populations in full sun. The species is curiously similar to P. radiatum, from which it differs only with respect to the indumentum (P. nummulifolium has glandular hairs on the reverse side of leaves, P. radiatum only non-glandular hairs) and the pollen structure, whereas the leaf form and the flower structure are identical. E. M. Marais, Taxonomic Studies in Pelargonium, Section Hoarea (Geraniaceae), PhD Thesis, University of Stellenbosch, 1994.
E. M. Marais, Taxonomic Studies in Pelargonium, Section Hoarea (Geraniaceae), PhD Thesis, University of Stellenbosch, 1994.
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