Thursday, November 3, 2011

Pretty Pelargoniums

This post was meant to be for Clay & Limestone's Wednesday wild flower meme, but the end of the month is always hectic at work and  blogging time is limited, so I've missed the deadline. But these are too beautiful to be ignored so I am posting it anyway.  I have decided on Pelargoniums . Firstly because they would be well known to overseas readers and secondly because they are such easily grown, rewarding plants.

I know there are many sites trying to clear up the confusion between Pelargoniums and Geraniumms but in case you haven't read them – here's the quick answer. Pelargoniums belong to the family Geranicae of which there are approximately 800 species. These are divided into Geraniums with five equal petals and Pelargoniums with a variety of flower forms but mostly with 2 smaller petals above and 3 larger petals below.(Can also be the other way around - 2 large above and 3 small below). South Africa is blessed with about 220 species of Pelargonium. My garden boasts only 8 of these. Pelargoniums hybridize very easily leading to the vast variety available in nurseries and also leading to the confusion I have in correctly naming the varieties I have growing. I have got as far as putting them into categories. If there is an expert out there I would appreciate any help in naming or correcting any errors.

These have large showy blooms in a variety of colours.
Definitely a Regal, it's blooms are absolutely stunning but despite reviewing hundreds of photo's I can't positively ID it.
Pelargonium cucullatum - this one I initially thought was capitatum, but it has no scent and the leaves are tinged with red on the edge.

As the name indicates these have typical ivy shaped leaves and a trailing habit.

Pelargonium peltatum - the leaves are smooth and semi-succulent.

Flowers from this group are usually small and insignificant, but foliage is highly aromatic.

Pelargonium graveolens -Rose scented (above)
Pelargonium tormentosum - Peppermint scented (below)
I love these - just brushing against the leaves releases the most amazing aroma.

Most of these, but not all, have a darker horseshoe shaped mark on the leaves.
Pelargonium inquinans? Not sure about this one, it does have that typical smell, but no horseshoe marking on the leaves.

This one is definitely a Zonal - but which one?

And this one?


  1. I'm not fussed about their names - I just choose them for their looks! You have some great specimens. My favourite is the "bog-standard" Scarlet zonal.

  2. I love pelargoniums. They are so easy to grow / propagate and the least fussy of all the plants in my garden LOL

    Yours are gorgeous!

  3. (BTW do join the Wildflower Wednesday meme. It runs once a month and it is NOT about ON the Day. You can also put the post up earlier, then link in when Gail has the meme up)

    In autumn when the weather is kind, Scabiosa will grow enthusiastically from bits tucked deeply in the ground. Spread your chosen purple next autumn! Same with all of your pelargoniums ;~)

  4. I love them all!!! I remember years ago going to Greece and seeing all the white houses with window boxes crammed full of scarlet geraniums. That bright red against the stark white - stunning! I think that's when I fell in love with them! lol x

  5. These are beautiful. And no wonder they're so popular! And I learned something reading Diana's comment above, too. That's what I love - we all learn from each other!