Pelargonium from the Greek 'pelargos' meaning a stork, referring to the awned mericarp resembling a stork's bill. Rodneyanum named in honour of Mrs. Riddell of Sydney, grand-daughter of the famous Admiral George Rodney, rather than it being named after him.
Distribution and status
Found in the South-east in South Australia, growing on fertile clays or loams in grassland or woodland communities but also on rocky outcrops. Also found in New South Wales and Victoria. Native. Common in South Australia. Common in the other States.
Herbarium region: South Eastern
NRM region: South East
AVH map: SA distribution map (external link)
Tufted erect perennial herb to 40 cm high, covered with short glandular hairs and with tuberous roots. Leaves all or mostly basal, ovate, pubescent, to 5 cm long, 5-7-lobed on a long slender petioles to 7 cm long. Flowers in groups of 2-7 with magenta or deep-pink flowers, arising from the axils of the basal leaves. Flowering between November and May. Fruits are erect clusters of pale brown fruit to 25 mm long, Seeds are mericarps hairy with long twisting awns and tapering beak.
Seed collection and propagation
Collect seeds between January and July. Collect matured fruit, those that are turning brown and the mericarps are starting to peel off the fruit stalk. Place the mericarps in a tray and leave to dry fro 1 to 2 weeks. If only the mericarps are collected, no further cleaning is required and it can be stored as is. Store the mericarps with a desiccant such as dried silica beads or dry rice, in an air tight container in a cool and dry place.