Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Pelargonium Myrrhifolium var. Myrrhifolium

Pelargonium myrrhifolium, originated in South Africa (Western Cape),  is a compact pelargonium with finely dissected foliage which may reach 30-40 cm high at maturity. Most known varieties are:  
  • var. myrrhifolium with white or lilac flowers dark purple markings
  • var. coriandrifolium with vivid pinkish-purple flowers  
  • var. fructicosum with white flowers with dark red markings
I 've liked since always the myrrh scent, so we decided last year to enlarge the collection of flavors from our scented garden with  Pelargonium myrrhifolium var myrrhifolium

Pelargonium myrrhifolium var myrrhifolium flower and leaves
Pelargonium myrrhifolium var myrrhifolium flower and leaves

Pelargonium myrrhifolium var myrrhifolium is a shrubby pelargonium with finely divided leaves, not so sticky and covered by glandular hairs, which are releasing a scent like fresh myrrh if rubbed.

Pelargonium seedlings germinated in soil  blocks made with special soil bloks molds
Pelargonium seedlings germinated in soil  blocks

The plants were started from seeds ordered from South Africa in small soil blocks formed with special molds (together with some balsam scented varieties), latter on being moved into larger soil blocks, and after 4 months, into their pots. The plants grow quite slowly,  but started to bloom within one year from seed germination.

The flower is quite large, very attractive with a pale lilac color and dark purple markins (I'm still waiting to see if any of plants will make white ones). I cross my fingers to be followed  by the distinctive cranesbill seed heads to gather also their seeds.

Pelargonium myrrhifolium var myrrhifolium pale lilac flower
Pelargonium myrrhifolium var myrrhifolium flower

Pelargonium myrrhifolium var myrrhifolium  is a drought tolerant plant that require a sandy well drained soil. It is said that it is hardy to frost pelargonium which will bloom till January, thus we will overwinter them outside, with some protection against winds and rain (last winter we kept them indoor, like all seedlings, under artificial light).  Initial the stem looked green and herbaceous, but it became woody, and somehow brownish with the age - and as we estimated, could be wired easily and make interesting pelargonium bonsai.

Pelargonium myrrhifolium var myrrhifolium bonsai
Pelargonium myrrhifolium var myrrhifolium bonsai


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