Morphological characterisation of cultivated Pelargonium sidoides in the northern KZN

P.G. Mthiyane, S. Mavengahama, A. Opoku, R. Kleynhans
Pelargonium sidoides, indigenous to South Africa, is a highly valued medicinal plant used for the treatment of gastrointestinal conditions and respiratory tract infections. Morphological variation among populations is a requirement to the formation and characterisation of the species. Morphological characterisation of accessions of P. sidoides was done using IPGRI/IITA/BAMBNET list for Bambara groundnut. Principal component analysis (PCA) and cluster analysis (CA) were used to evaluate the morphological variability and to reveal the groups of different morphotypes. The PCA revealed that the first three principal components exhibited Eigenvalues greater than 1 and explained 74.170% of the total variability, contributing the entire variable to the morphological variation of the accessions established at the University of Zululand. Cluster analysis was able to group the morphotypes into two major groups with each group having two sub-groups. Two distinguishing flower colours in the field were observed. Many of the accessions had deep purple flowers and a few accessions had pinkish stalks with pink flowers. The occurrence of different flower colours among the studied accessions may be due to association of P. sidoides with its close relative Pelargonium reniforme (with pink colour) found growing in the same habitat. The high variation among quantitative characters measured in studied germplasms indicated that a good possibility exists of finding desirable traits to meet the demands of both researchers and farmers interested in the development of promising cultivars of P. sidoides.
Mthiyane, P.G., Mavengahama, S., Opoku, A. and Kleynhans, R. (2016). Morphological characterisation of cultivated Pelargonium sidoides in the northern KZN. Acta Hortic. 1125, 315-324
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2016.1125.41
Pelargonium sidoides, morphological variation, PCA and CA

Acta Horticulturae