Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER)

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Pelargonium capitatum
(L.) L'Hér., Geraniaceae
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Present on Pacific Islands?  yes

Primarily a threat at high elevations?  no

Other Latin names:  Geranium capitatum L.

Common name(s): [more details]

English: rose geranium, rose-scent geranium, rose-scent pelargonium

Tongan: fiki

Habit:  herb

Description:  "Decumbent, much-branched, rose-scented sub-shrub, up to 1 m high and 1.6 m in diameter.  Stems herbaceous, becoming somewhat woody with age, pilose to densely villous and with glandular hairs interspersed, green but becoming brownish with age.  Leaves villous to densely villous and densely interspersed with glandular hairs, green to greyish-green; lamina 3-5-palmatilobte to 3-5-palmatipartite, crisped, base cordate, lobes sometimes shallowly lobed, apices of lobes obtuse, margins irregularly crenate-dentate, (20-) 40 (-115) x (30-) 50 (-160) mm; petiole (5-) 20 (-55) mm long; stipules broadly ovate to cordiform, often apiculate, 7-12 x 5-14 mm.  Inflorescence: flowering branches with normal and smaller foliar leaves; peduncles 30-150 mm long, villous to densely villous and densely interspersed with glandular hairs; involucral bracts broadly lanceolate, apiculate to cuspidate, indumentum as on leaves, 8-10 x 3-5 mm; capitulum-like pseudo-umbels with 8-20 flowers each.  Pedicel 0.5-2 mm long.  Hypanthium 3-8 mm long, densely villous and with glandular hairs interspersed.  Sepals lanceolate, apiculate, indumentum as on hypanthium, green but apices often reddish, ca 10 x 3-4 mm.  Petals pale pink to dark pink-purple; posterior two spathulate, apices obtuse, with dark purple markings, reflexed at ca 90 degrees, ca 18 x 6 mm; anterior three spathulate with narrow claws, slightly reflexed, ca 16 x 6 mm.

"Diagnostic features:  Decumbent, much-branched, rose-scented subshrub.  Lamina 3-5-palmatilobate to 3-5-palmatipartite, crisped, villous to densely villous.  Pseudo-umbels capitulum-like, with 8-20 flowers each.  Flowers pale pink to dark pink-purple, pedicels much shorter than hypanthium"  (van der Walt, 1985; pp. 353-354).

"Shrubby perennial to 100 cm high, softly hairy; stems villous with non-glandular hairs; roots not tuberous. Leaves alternate or opposite with lamina ovate to cordate, 2-8 cm long, 2-8 cm wide, deeply 3-7-lobed, lobes toothed, surfaces villous; petiole 2-6 cm long. Umbels 7-12-flowered; peduncle 3-12 cm long; pedicels to 4 mm long. Calyx lobes 5-6 mm long, sepal spur 3-4 mm long. Petals c. 10 mm long, pink, posterior ones with deeper markings. Fertile stamens usually 7. Fruit c. 7 mm long; mericarps c. 5 mm long, villous"  (PlantNet:  New South Wales Flora Online).

Habitat/ecology:  In Hawai‘i (East Maui), "found on the walls of Wai‘ale Gulch and in many other nearby pastoral locations".  In its native habitat in South Africa, "it grows in coastal dunes and sandy hills from the southwestern Cape to southern Natal" (Starr, Starr & Loope, 2008; pp. 46-47).  In New South Wales, Australia, "naturalized on cliffs and sand dunes in the Newcastle and Sydney districts"  (PlantNet:  New South Wales Flora Online).

Propagation:  Seed

Native range:  South Africa (Starr, Starr & Loope, 2008; p. 46).

Presence:

Pacific
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Maui Island introduced
invasive
Starr, Forest/Starr, Kim/Loope, Lloyd (2008) (pp. 46-47)
East Maui. Vouchers cited: Starr, Starr, Bio & Javar 050816-3 (BISH), Starr & Starr 051122-01 (BISH), Starr & Starr 051122-02 (BISH)
New Caledonia
New Caledonia Archipelago
Île Grande Terre introduced
cultivated
MacKee, H. S. (1994) (p. 55)
"Aurait eté introduit comme culture à parfum".
Pacific Rim
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
New Zealand
New Zealand
New Zealand (country) introduced
invasive
Webb, C. J./Sykes, W. R./Garnock-Jones, P. J. (1988) (p. 737)
United States (west coast)
United States (west coast states)
USA (California) introduced
U.S. Dept. Agr., Nat. Res. Cons. Serv. (2013)


Need more info? Have questions? Comments? Information to contribute? Contact PIER! (pier@hear.org)

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This page was created on 20 FEB 2010 and was last updated on 28 MAY 2010.