Chatham Island Geranium (Geranium traversii)
Kingdom: Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom: Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
Superdivision: Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division: Magnoliophyta - Flowering plants
Class: Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Family: Geraniaceae – Geranium family, Cranesbill
Genus: Geranium L. – geranium P
Species: Geranium traversii
Scientific name: Geranium traversii
Synonym: Geranium traversii var. elegans
Common Name: Chatham Island geranium
Geranium traversii is endemic to the Chatham Islands group. It is found on all the main islands, islets and rock stacks except the Forty Fours, Sisters, Pyramid and Western Reef. Here its habitat is coastal cliffs, consolidated or mobile sand dunes, steep peat-filled crevices, limestone cliffs and rocks, rock crevices and erosion hollows. It requires good drainage and a sunny situation.
It is perennial rosette herb which forms patches up to 0.8 × 0.6 m.
It has silvery grey to grayish-green basal leaves which are round, 2.5–7.5 cm diameter, and are cut into 5 to 7 lobes. These are on slender petioles up to 220 mm long.
Flowers are solitary up to 30 mm in diameter with petals that are pink, white or rarely a pale purple appear October to March. The petals usually have up to 5 more darkly pigmented, longitudinal veins.
The seeds (July-June) are a black to reddish brown and the plant self seeds readily.
Photographed at Otari Wilton Reserve, Wellington
Photographed at Te Kainga Marire Gardens at Spencer Place, January.
The leaf has tiny hairs on its surface.
Underside of the leaf