Tuberous Pelargonium

David Victor
Sat, 28 Aug 2004 02:09:04 PDT
>My favorite tuberous one may be P. appendiculatum although it is rather
>futile to say which is best. This species becomes a plant a few feet across
>with the most gorgeous, soft, downy gray leaves you will ever see (much more
>gray than the WIKI specimen). Then it blooms very late in season (in May
>here) when most of the others are done.


Its an interesting plant and, as you say, the foliage is its best 
feature.  My guess is that the more sun it gets, the greyer it becomes: 
this year has not been a good one for sun in the UK and that may account 
for the extra green effect.  Its also an interesting plant in that for many 
years it was thought to be a plant of Section Hoarea.  However, eventually 
it was realised that plants in the wild had stems which precludes that 
possibility, so it was moved to Section Ligularia.  It was always a strange 
one in its original classification as it was so large.

>Of course, P. incrassatum is everyone's favorite. I think you've seen it in
>bloom in Namaqualand, haven't you? Today, of the tuberous kinds, I notice P.
>nephrophyllum putting out deep pink blooms from bare soil. And like the rest
>of the tuberous kinds it is in full shade, unwatered all summer. But, it's a
>bit early.

It interest me that you grow them in shade, as here I grow them in full 
sun.  However, in the wild they do tend to grow under the shade of other 
vegetation with only their long flower scapes lifting the flowers above the 

Hi Mark,

>I grow a wide variety of Pelargoniums including tuberous species and hardy
>ones. The hardy Pelargoniums are P. endlicherianum and P. quercetorum.

Interesting that you mention these two, both of which I grow.  Whilst not 
tuberous, they do have woody rootstocks and are both fascinating plants.  I 
particularly like P. quercetorum, with its masses of pink blooms.  My 
plants currently in flower, with six or seven inflorescences, each carrying 
twenty or so blooms.  a great plant!

>I'm curious about sources of tuberous Pelargonium varieties

I added a piece yesterday as to where I source mine from, mainly from South 

>If you are gonna be sucked in by these fantastic plants can I suggest you
>buy the 3 volumes of 'Pelargoniums of South Africa' which have fantastic
>colour drawings for each plant.

I quite agree that these are a fine set of books on the subject, although 
some of the naming, particularly in volume 1, has since been changed.  As I 
mentioned in my piece, I also think the book by Diana Miller is 
particularly good in terms of the species and genus.  Specialist 
information regarding the tuberous Section Hoarea is best found in either 
Charles Craib's book or the totally definitive revision by Betti Marais.

Best regards,
David Victor 

More information about the pbs mailing list