Sunday 31 May 2015


 "P. papilionaceum " 

 "P. papilionaceum"  is part of the display in the RHS Wisley Glasshouse until 6th June.   Apart from the pretty pink flowers from which the plant gets its name, this plant can grow to over 6 ½ ft.   It was not quite as high as this in the glasshouse; probably about 2ft growing in a large pot and could easily be missed growing in amongst other large pelargonium species.   The very large leaves tended to dominate this plant.  An erect strong growing shrubby plant,  "P. papilionaceum"  (also known as Butterfly pelargonium “Rambossie”) has a a strong scent,  said to be unpleasant and  like that of a he-goat , but I did not think it too bad.   There are reports of the leaves being used as a tobacco substitute.  "P. papilionaceum"  can be found in the wild in the South Western, South and Eastern Cape of South Africa.  It grows in the margins of forests in half-shady damp places.  It arrived in Britain in 1742 and was grown in the Chelsea Physic Garden.   

Leaves of "P. papilionaceum"

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