The West Coast had its first winter rains, and 9000 species of flowering plants are gearing up for spring which is almost four months away. Even before Nature breaths the word 'spring', the wild geraniums burst into flower. I made this very fast and impressionistic painting to show the abundant foliage and the loose clusters of flowers bearing toward the light.
We love our little SASOL field guide to fynbos of Southern Africa, and I am going to use their descriptions to add to my own. This flowering plant is one of the parents of the Regal pelargonium hybrids. The leaves contain essential oils that are extracted and used in traditional medicines to treat coughs and chest complaints. About 250 different Pelargonium species are known from Africa, Madagascar, the Middle East and Australia, but mostly from here where we are at the moment. The florist geraniums that are a favourite in many window boxes worldwide are popularly thought to be of European origin, but are actually Pelargonium hybrids.