Botanical Survey of India | Flora of India

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Pelargonium L'Her. ex Aiton

Plants of various habits, some fleshy and tuberous and treated as succulents, but those commonly grown are erect or trailing, leafy herbs or woody below. Leaves mostly opposite, entire to decompound, stipulate. Inflorescence mostly umbel-like on axillary peduncles. Flowers irregular. Calyx 5-partite (or sepals said to be connate at base); the uppermost segment produced at base into a slender, nectar-bearing tube or spur adnate to pedicel. Petals 5(rarely less by abortion), the 2 upper ones usually larger and more prominently coloured, the lower mostly narrow and rarely very small, pink, red, purple or white, sometimes yellow. Stamens 10, 7 or less anther-bearing and fertile. Fruits of 5 valves, each 1-seeded and separating from beak; apex mostly coiling more or less hygrometrically.

Commonly known as Geraniums, the plants are grown for ornamental purposes; some of the species are aromatic and cultivated for their volatile oil.

A large genus with ca 250 species, nearly all Pelargoniums are distributed chiefly in S. Africa and a few in tropical Africa, Syria and Australia. Twelve species and one hybrid have been introduced into India and grown in gardens, some of which are found to run wild on Nilgiri hills in peninsular India.

The following 12 species and one hybrid are in cultivation in India.

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