Pelargonium Profile Ė Pelargonium cordifolium
by Wayne L. Handlos PhD
Pelargonium cordifolium is a large species geranium that is currently available to the landscaping market on the Central Coast. At least two wholesalers on the Central Coast are propagating and selling this attractive plant.
Plants of Pelargonium cordifolium grow to about five feet tall and in my garden have withstood 27 degrees F. without damage. Like many other member of the section Pelargonium, the flowers are basically a lavender pink color. The two upper petals are much larger and darker colored than the three long, narrow, lower petals. The upper petals are marked with magenta and burgundy forked lines. Most blooms are produced in spring and summer, but flowers may be seen in smaller numbers throughout the year.
The leaves in this species are cordate or heart-shaped as the name implies. The uppersides of the leaves are dark green while the undersides are whitish and may feel like felt due to the presence of fine hairs. The edge of the leaf is very shallowly toothed. Each tooth has a sharp point.
This species has been crossed with P. fruticosum and P. betulinum and would probably hybridize with other members of its section (P. crispum, P. cucullatum, P. ribifolium, P. x domesticum, i.e. various regals/Martha Washingtons, angels and pansies).
This species also makes a nice (large) display in a pot. Some pinching may be necessary to produce a bushy specimen.