Scientific nameThe flowers are large and attractive, making this plant very conspicuous when it is in flower. The inflorescence is umbel-like, usually consisting of three to four flowers, occasionally of up to six. Flower colour is variable, pink and purplish flowers being most commonly seen in the wild, and there is also a white form. All flowers have dark purplish streaks on the petals, particularly on the two upper petals. Pelargonium betulinum flowers during spring and summer, with a peak from August to October, and a few flowers appearing all summer until February.
Seed should be sown at a depth of 2-3 mm in late summer to autumn (February to March) in a well-drained sandy loam. Germination should occur in 1-3 weeks with percentage germination of ±75%. Remember that plants grown from seed will show some degree of variation and, if a particular form or variant is required, it must be propagated vegetatively.
Propagation is by cuttings or seed. This species is readily propagated from softwood and tip cuttings taken from healthy young growth in autumn (March to May). The cuttings should be left to dry in a cool spot for a few hours. The basal ends should be dipped in a rooting hormone, and inserted into a prepared hole made by a dibber or a nail to avoid damaging the ends. The cuttings should be rooted in a cold frame, in a well-drained medium, such as coarse river sand. The first watering should contain a fungicide or agricultural disinfectant — for example a.i. benomyl (Benlate)/copper oxychloride/captab (Kaptan)/didecyl dimethyl ammonium chloride (Sporekill)) — after which the cuttings should be watered regularly but not excessively. Rooting should occur in 4 to 8 weeks and a weaning period of 1 week is recommended. The newly rooted cuttings can be fed with a seaweed-based fertilizer and potted up after they have been weaned.
This table below shows how many plants we are trying to obtain for this species.
We are in need of this species! Can you help? Maybe you have this species at home, or perhaps you can collect seeds or cuttings (if applicable) from friends or from a public space. If so, why don't you help establish this species in areas where it is much needed!
This species was selected because it has various important characteristics.
It provides medicinal value
It is a pioneer species suitable for establishing the soil in bare areas
Easy to grow
Good for coastal areas
Pelargonium betulinum is indigenous to: Cape Flats Sand Fynbos