Original Research

A new long-tubed subspecies of Pelargonium dipetalum (section Hoarea) (Geraniaceae) from the Albertinia-Swellendam area in Western Cape Province, South Africa

M. Marianne le Roux, John C. Manning
Bothalia | Vol 44, No 1 | a163 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/abc.v44i1.163 | © 2014 M. Marianne le Roux, John C. Manning | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 19 May 2014 | Published: 08 December 2014

About the author(s)

M. Marianne le Roux, National Herbarium, South African National Biodiversity Institute, South Africa; Department of Botany and Plant Biotechnology, University of Johannesburg, South Africa
John C. Manning, Compton Herbarium, South African National Biodiversity Institute, South Africa; Research Centre for Plant Growth and Development, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

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Background: Field studies confirmed that unusually long-tubed populations of Pelargonium dipetalum from between Swellendam and Albertinia, Western Cape Province, South Africa, are a distinct ecotype adapted to pollination by the long-proboscid fly, Prosoeca longipennis. The geographical and morphological isolation of these populations suggests that they are reproductively isolated from short-tubed populations, which are pollinated by bees.

Objectives: To determine and describe the floral variation in P. dipetalum, with a view to recognising the long-tubed populations at some taxonomic level.

Method: All available collections were measured and compared.

Results: Populations of P. dipetalum were segregated into a short-tubed form with hypanthium 3 mm – 24 mm long and mostly pink petals that occurs from Betty’s Bay to Knysna, and a long-tubed form with the hypanthium 34 mm – 54 mm long and consistently white petals that is restricted to a small area east of Swellendam between Suurbraak and Albertinia. We described the long-tubed form as the new subspecies P. dipetalum subsp. stenosiphon.

Conclusion: The new subspecies increases our understanding of the diversity in P. dipetalum and represents a new taxon of conservation concern.


Ecotype; New subspecies; Pelargonium dipetalum L’Hér.; Pollination; Section Hoarea (Sweet) DC.


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