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Pelargonium cordifolium (heart-leaved pelargonium)

As the name suggests, the heart-leaved pelargonium has velvety, heart-shaped leaves scented of apple.
Flowers of Pelargonium cordifolium

Pelargonium cordifolium, photographed in South Africa (Photo: Wolfgang Stuppy)

Species information

Scientific name: 

Pelargonium cordifolium Curtis

Common name: 

heart-leaved pelargonium, heart-leaved geranium

Conservation status: 

Not evaluated according to IUCN Red List criteria.

Habitat: 

Moist, sandy spots in fynbos, forests and forest margins.

Key Uses: 

Ornamental.

Known hazards: 

Pelargoniums can cause mild skin dermatitis.

Taxonomy

Subclass: 
Superorder: 
Rosanae
Order: 
Geraniales
Family: 
Geraniaceae
Genus: Pelargonium

About this species

William Curtis described Pelargonium cordifolium in 1792, as ‘another Geranium of modern introduction, not enumerated by Linnaeus or Miller, and which in point of beauty, duration of flowering, and facility of culture, is equal to most’. It was introduced to the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, from the Cape, by Francis Masson in 1774.

Curtis was right to draw attention to the length of the flowering season, for even in a British conservatory this plant is often in flower for many months, from around March to July.

Synonym: 

Pelargonium cordatum

Genus: 
Pelargonium

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