Pelargonium carnosum (2011)

By Chris Deem (January 2011)

It stood alone within the silver-white ring, a small enchanted tree. It was a tiny tree that none dared touch. A tree of a light brown color with just a tinge of yellow. Its branches looked very thick, and it almost seemed to shine.

Its leaves were not at all like the leaves of ordinary trees. Dangerous things like poisonous hemlock came to mind, but not one of them was brave or foolish enough to touch it to find out.

At the very top of the tree, the slender branches had no leaves, for that was where the tiny fairies danced. Their small white wings had pretty purple spots, and in their tiny hands, they held orange fairy dust.

Below, in the hidden subterranean darkness of the deep silver pot, there were surely goblins and monsters. Of course, none of them were tall enough to know for sure.

Pelargonium plants are members of the family Geraniaceae, and they are also Dicotyledons. The only reason I’m telling you this is because the latter is a really interesting word. Sounds rather like a dinosaur, doesn’t it? Well, I digress…

Returning to those winter-growing succulents, most are from South Africa or Namibia, and most are really shrubs or herbs. There seems to be a lot of diversity in the leaves of various Pelargonium species, and the flowers on all the plants I saw were small.

So ends a story of a Pelargonium carnosum in its winter bloom, as seen through the eyes of some very young children. Or perhaps just in the memories of those who can remember what it was like to see a magical sight.