ISI 2014-31. Pelargonium cotyledonis 'Ventnor'

In 2002 the ISI distributed the more common form of this species with dark green leaves. This selection is similar in its natural bonsai-like structure of thickened branches with flaky bark and its white, radially symmetrical flowers. It differs, however, in its pubescent and therefore slightly grayish leaves. The same habitat information provided in 2002 applies here as well: situated between Africa and South America, at 16°S, 5°W, St. Helena experiences a subtropical maritime climate. Therefore, P. cotyledonis is favored by cool but frost-free winter conditions with regular watering and drier, partly shaded conditions in summer but without excessive heat. Partial or total defoliation during summer dormancy is to be expected. This selection was collected by Dr. Goodenough on St. Helena circa 1986 at a location near the southwest coast known as “The Asses’ Ears”. Dr. Goodenough, then Director of the Ventnor Botanical Garden on the Isle of Wight, suggested that 'Ventnor' would be a more appropriate cultivar name for this strain. Our plants originate from hand-pollination of a single plant and its progeny by Gary James of Costa Mesa, CA. This is just a few miles from the coast, where the climate seems to be ideal for this plant. Gary received one of three seedlings from Geraniaceae specialist Robin Parer who received three seeds from the Geraniaceae Group in England. HBG 120335, $15.

Pelargonium cotyledonis 'Ventnor'

Photo © 2014 by Gary James. Images may not be used elsewhere without permission.

Published in the Cactus and Succulent Journal, Vol. 86 (2), March - April, 2014