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Products > Pelargonium xerophyton
Pelargonium xerophyton - Desert Geranium

Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Succulent
Family: Geraniaceae (Geraniums)
Origin: South Africa (Africa)
Flower Color: White
Bloomtime: Spring
Height: 1-2 feet
Width: 1-2 feet
Exposure: Sun or Shade
Summer Dry: Yes
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 25-30° F
Pelargonium xerophyton (Desert Geranium) - Summer dormant semi-deciduous small succulent caudiform shrub to 18 to 24 inches tall and wide with thick water retaining stems that are intricately branched and hold rounded slightly dentate half inch long light blue-green leaves at their tips. It is sparsely flowering in spring and fall with individual white flowers rising above the foliage on narrow peduncles. The lower petals are pure white while upper petals have red blotches and the stamens tipped with orange anthers. Plant in full sun to light shade in a well-drained soil and water sparingly in summer months. Protect from a hard frost - this plant has been grown outside in the Santa Barbara area including through the cold 2007 January frost event with 3 nights down to 25F without severe damage. A great succulent bonsai or container plant with interesting stems. It comes from the area called the Richtersveld in the north-western corner of South Africa and further north along the coast into southern and Namibia where it grows in the shelter of rocks. The name for the genus comes from Johannes Burman (1707-1780, a Dutch physician and botanist whom Linnaeus worked for in his youth. Burman first used the name to describe some South African Geraniums in 1738. The name was derived from the Greek word 'pelargós' meaning "stork" because the seed head looks like that of a stork's beak. The specific epithet comes from the Greek words 'xeros' meaning "dry" and 'phyton' meaning "plant" in reference to this plants dry habitat. Our plants came from Santa Barbara succulent plant grower and aloe hybridizer John Bleck.  The information provided on this page is based on research we have conducted about this plant in our nursery's library, from what we have found about it on reliable online sources, as well as from observations in our nursery of crops of this plant as well as of plants growing in the nursery's garden and those in other gardens. We will also incorporate comments received from others and welcome getting feedback from anyone who may have additional information, particularly if it includes cultural information that would aid others in growing  Pelargonium xerophyton.