Pelargonium Tongaense - Tonga Pelargonium - Indigneous African Shrub - 10 Seeds

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Pelargonium is a genus of flowering plants which includes about 200 species of perennials, succulents, and shrubs, commonly known as geraniums (in the United States also storksbills). Confusingly, Geranium is the correct botanical name of a separate genus of related plants often called cranesbills or hardy geraniums. Both genera belong to the family Geraniaceae. Pelargonium species are evergreen perennials indigenous to Southern Africa, and are drought and heat tolerant, but can tolerate only minor frosts. They are extremely popular garden plants, grown as bedding plants in temperate regions.

Plants are deciduous, perennial, low growing shrubby herbs, which grow up to 200mm ( or 400 mm if the flowers included) in height with a spread of 400mm. Plants die back in winter. The pale green stems are slightly succulent as are the simple lobate palmate leaves which resemble those of the popular Pelargonium peltatum. Pelargonium tongaense flowers freely over an extended period from spring to autumn (September - April). Plants are blessed with bright scarlet red flowers borne in heads of 3-8 flowers on 200mm stalks. The flowers are quite similar to those of Pelargonium inquinans which is often cultivated in gardens. Pelargonium tongaense plants are endemic (naturally restricted) to KwaZulu-Natal (KZN), and are recorded from a small area in the north-eastern KZN. They can be found growing in forests, under bushy trees, on loose reddish sandy soil, near the Pongolo River from Tete Pan north to Tembe. These plants occur in temperate to cool growing areas, with an annual rainfall of between of 600 mm to 800 mm during summer months (November-December). The name Pelargonium come from Pelargos (Greek word): meaning, stork; Stork's Bill which refers to the rostrum (beak-like extension) of the schizocarp (dry splitting fruit into two or more parts) which resembles the bill of a stork. Tongaense refers to the Tongaland area, KZN where this species was discovered.

USDA Zone - 10

Season to sow - Spring / Autumn