Pelargonium cordifolium is a spreading, branched aromatic
shrub, reaching a height of more than 1,5 metres. The main stem
is woody at the base, while the side branches are herbaceous and
covered with hairs of variable density. It has beautiful foliage.
Cordifolium refers to the heart-shaped (cordate) leaves which
may be flat or curled.
attractive pelargonium flowers from June to January with a peak
in September (spring) . The flowers are borne in a branched inflorescence
terminating in several (4-8) flowered umbel-like groups. The two
upper petals of the flower are much larger than the three lower
ones. The upper petals are usually pink or purple with darker purple
veins. The lower petals are lighter in colour .
varieties have been recognised on the basis of leaf characteristics.
One of the varieties featured in the Garden has distinctly red stems
and very attractive foliage with glabrous (smooth and free from
Pelargonium cordifolium occurs mainly near the coast in
the southern and Eastern Cape, from the Bredasdorp area eastwards
to KingWilliamstown. It usually grows in rather moist places in
fynbos or at the margins of forests or even in forests.
How to grow Pelargonium cordifolium
P. cordifolium is best propagated by means of cuttings.
Tip cuttings are best taken in late summer/ autumn. The base of
the cutting should be just below a leaf node. Remove all the lower
leaves. Dip the base of the cutting into a rooting hormone powder
and plant in clear, coarse river sand. Acontainer 150 mm in depth
is ideal. Place cuttings in light shade. By early spring the cuttings
will be well rooted and ready to be planted out in a well-drained
Author: Ebrahim Lawrence