Monday 27 June 2011

Species Pelargonium stenopetalum, or is it Pelargonium burtoniae?

I bought this plant about four years ago with the name Pelargonium burtoniae.  It was not in flower, and I bought it because I did not have this plant in my collection and not heard of it.

When I checked in Diana Miller's Guide to Species I found that P. burtoniae was described and named in 1927 from a plant found by a Mrs Burton in a garden in eastern Cape Province.  However, it is identical to the plant grown in Europe as P. stenopetalum for 200 years.   I changed the label to P. stenopetalum.

The flowers of P. stenopetalum are quite distinct as you can see from my photographs. They are a very bright pink, with very thin spidery petals and are easily spotted in the greenhouse.   The leaves are waxy, pale green with a very faint zone.  It is easy to take cuttings of P. stenopetalum and I treat it as a normal zonal, except I grow it in a John Innes No. 2 compost with added grit for extra drainage.  It does tend to sprawl a bit.


  1. Takiej jeszcze nie widziałam a pewno by zagościła w mojej skrzynce na balkonie. Pozdrawiam

  2. Hi
    Had your P.stenopetalum growing on our farm when we bought it 25 years ago. A bush which was +-75cm high x 1m wide and was already old. Its long lived. It tolerated our frost and snow. There is no mention by the experts as to its distribution or origin in the wild. Have been selling in under P. acetosum but are going to change it to P.stenopetalum

  3. I am delighted to have been allowed to take several sturdy cuttings of this plant from a clients garden in Bonny Doon, California in October 2020. My client says her grandmother brought home a cutting from Africa decades ago, wrapped in a damp paper towel tucked in her pocket. Her plant(s) was (were) large, rambling and almost lost in a terrible forest fire a few weeks ago. It is entirely lovely and I wish I could find more on line about it!


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