The first geraniums did not come to Europe until the 17th century. Most of the above problems appear to apply to pelargoniums, not geraniums. Regal Geranium. – while they have similarities, they differ in many ways too. ( Log Out /  Geraniums always have symmetrical flowers. If you used the word “geranium”, everyone understood you. This not only helps prevent overgrown geraniums, but will also reduce or fix leggy geranium plants. They look so great in pots and window boxes, and they are one of the most popular container plants. But for the last 40 years or so, true geraniums (Geranium spp.) The first thing to look at is whether it is just a few leaves going yellow or whether the whole plant is looking a bit sick. Pelargoniums, commonly known as geraniums, are a large group of mostly evergreen and tender perennials used as bedding or houseplants. The true geranium is found in many parts of the world, while most pelargoniums have their origins in South Africa. The tall-stemmed flowers with ball-shaped blooms are actually Pelargoniums as classified by their genus or Pelargonium × hortorum according to their species. I learnt something new today – I had them completely around the other way, or just thought they were all geraniums. Which is which. Try increasing the amount of sun and cutting back on fertilizer. Discover pelargoniums. For those who don’t quite get the difference, here’s a quick summary: Originally, pelargoniums had asymmetrical flowers, but that trait has been bred out of many of them. The change was widely accepted even back then and still holds today. When pelargoniums were brought over from South Africa they were thought to be the same as the geranium, and thus were accidentally misclassified, a mistake that wasn’t rectified until the 1700s. They are a bit ugly now, but after the Winter Solstice, they will snap out of their funk and grow abundantly. What plants are indigenous to South Africa? Zonal geraniums, the most popular and widely known geraniums, are actually not geraniums at all. What is a citronella plant called? But Charles L’Héritier saw things differently and separated them into two genera in 1789. Hi hope you can help me. The … Nurseries tend to label these plants as Geraniums because this is what most people recognise them as. We aim to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place. Again, most gardeners already know the difference and are familiar with the term “pelargonium” even if they don’t yet use it. The first Pelargoniums were exported from the fairest Cape by John Tradescant in the 1600’s and from these thousands of new hybrids have been bred. Your zonal geranium is really a zonal pelargonium (Pelargonium x hortorum). Jane recommends pruning geraniums and pelargoniums back by between one third to one half during March or April. Of course, the two plant genera, Pelargonium and Geranium are closely related. What is the difference between a geranium and a pelargonium? Charles L’Hertier, an 18th-century French botanist, decided to separate them into two different genera. These have a much showier display of flowers than true geraniums, but they are harder to keep alive in the winter. One easy way to distinguish between the two is to check it’s winter survival skills. ( Log Out /  However, some hybrid pelargoniums have been bred with equal-sized petals, so they are exceptions. The name Pelargonium derives from the Greek term pelargós meaning stork because, when the flowers form a seed head, it resembles the long and slender beak of a stork. I’m looking for a quick guide to tell true geraniums apart from pelargoniums. Pelargoniums can be thought of as the geranium cousin. And this had become all the more necessary in that an increasing number of varieties in both genera are now being grown. Regal Geraniums once called Pelargonium domesticum, P. Cucullatum or P. grandiflorum are showy flowering plants at their best between April and June. Though they are often called geraniums, that is not correct. Unfortunately, the reclassification wasn’t widely accepted until much later. or Geraniums as they are commonly known and still referred to, are great perennial plants for the easy care gardener.They require little attention once established and thrive in hot, dry conditions. Why are pelargoniums called geraniums? Follow us. (1) Zonal Pelargoniums – mostly bush type plants grown for the beauty of their flower and often the one most confused by being wrongly named ‘Geraniums’ particularly in summer bedding arrangements etc. I have several of the “true” geraniums doing very well (aka taking over some areas) in my temperate/sub-alpine shady garden (Victoria, Australia). You know and I know that Scented Geraniums do not exist! Named varieties to look out for include Black Knight, Bridesmaid, Caribrooke, Marylyn (above)Wooton and Lord Bute.The velvety textured petals can combine to make large flowerheads and look stunning in a pot or container. Difference Between Geraniums and Pelargoniums, How to Collect Geranium Seeds from Plant (With Pictures), A Guide to Using a Heat Mat for Geranium Seedlings, How to Hand-Pollinate Geranium Flowers (Part 1), Crossing a Zonal Geranium with an Ivy Geranium (Interspecifics). Change ), You are commenting using your Facebook account. Other than that, there are no shrubby or climbing geraniums, so those must be pelargoniums. True geraniums are perennial and commonly called cranesbills. There are a variety of colours and leaf forms available, all suitable for pots, hanging baskets or garden beds. It’s better for me not to beak ….. now I know for sure that all my geraniums are actually pelargoniums. Plants in the genus Geranium are also commonly used in gardens, but are typically referred to as hardy geraniums or cranesbills.). Zonal geraniums are basically tropical perennials. It was a simple mistake. All Rights Reserved. Hence, why pelargoniums were also referred to as storksbill by the early enthusiasts. Honestly, you’d have to be a fairly serious birder to be able to tell a stork’s beak from a crane’s beak… especially if you removed the rest of the bird! I think it’s time to stop pussyfooting around. Join now. Pelargoniums have feathered seeds, shaped like a stork’s bill, which are dispersed by the wind. Thank you. You may say po-TAE-to and I may say po-TAH-to, but let’s all say geranium when we mean Geranium and pelargonium when we mean Pelargonium. They are annual flowers that are sold for one season’s use. Often made worse by the fact that Americans still widely use this incorrect naming. There are true geraniums, which are often called hardy geraniums and cranesbill. What does a pelargonium look like? They are often confused with common or scented geraniums, which are actually a related but completely separate genus called Pelargoniums. Any hints? Geraniums vs pelargoniums. have become widely popular in temperate climate gardens. At that time, the first pelargoniums which were brought to Europe from South Africa were called geraniums, due to their similarity to the domestic perennial plant. Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account. Leaves will be fused into a fan shape called palmate leaves. Pelargonium flowers have 2 upper petals and 3 lower ones: the lower ones are usually smaller. The seed capsules, therefore, are essentially identical. Although they may be kept outdoors during the warmer part of the year, geraniums are typically kept indoors to overwinter. Cold-hardy (there are a very few exceptions); So there you go. Zonal geraniums grow in U.S. Department of Agriculture hardiness zones 9 through 12. Often grown as annuals, they produce flowers of breathtaking beauty over a long season. While showy and beautiful, their petals are unsymmetrical and they don’t stand up well to frost and do best in an exposed, sunny location. So why call them scented geraniums? Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. My geraniums aren’t looking very well – why? Pelargonium is derived from the Greek word for stork, because the seed capsule is said to resemble a stork’s bill, while Geranium means crane, because it’s supposed to look like a crane’s bill. | Kiyanti2008's Weblog, Are We Participating In The Spekboom Challenge? The average zonal pelargonium (Pelargonium x hortorum), for example, now has symmetrical flowers, with all five petals being identical. Get involved. This is Geranium sanguineum, a true geranium. There are many, many species of pelargonium, not all of which are heavy bloomers. Join the RHS today and get 12 months for the price of 9. Their leaves come in a variety of shapes and sizes and may resemble ferns, grape leaves or oak leaves and may be deeply divided or nearly round. Various types of Pelargonium are regular participants in flower shows and competitive events, with numerous societies devoted exclusively to their cultivation. Geraniums are one of the most popular bedding plants, and while they are normally quite attractive, routine pruning may be necessary in order to keep them looking their best. Both belong to the same plant family, the Geraniaceae, and both have the same long, narrow, beak-shaped seed capsule that springs open when ripe and casts the seeds far and wide. The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK’s leading gardening charity. I also have a number of what I thought were geraniums, but now know are pelargoniums doing ok (tend to get very leggy), and they survive winter outside no worries – however, we rarely get snow and do not get frosts, so maybe that is why? It seems we have both kinds and one of my big climbing geranium plant is not doing well. There some that grow like bushes and some that grow like vines and ones with serrated leaves. 19. That wasn’t so much of an issue back when gardeners grew mostly pelargoniums (the annual types). Geranium flowers have 5 petals too, but naturally symmetrical and of equal size. - Small Scale Engineering. 15. The 'new' plants were re-classified as Pelargoniums, with both the Geranium and the Pelargonium classified as genera of the Geraniaceae Family. Change ). Pelargoniums are commonly called geraniums, but they are actually kind of taxonomic cousins. You may think that red, pink, or white annual flowering plants with thick pleated leaves are called \"geraniums,\" since everyone calls them that. Linnaeus thought the plants were close enough relatives to put both types in the genus Geranium. Originally, all pelargoniums had asymmetric flowers, with two upper petals and three lower petals that are quite distinct, but that characteristic has been bred out of many modern pelargoniums. Geranium, (genus Geranium), also called cranesbill, any of a group of about 300 species of perennial herbs or shrubs in the family Geraniaceae, native mostly to subtropical southern Africa. And while they are in the Geraniaceae family, they differ fro… If it’s just a few leaves and the rest of the plant is looking robust enough then I’d suggest it could be a sudden change in temperature or some other harmless occurrence. were actually pelargoniums, that is, they don’t belong to the genus Geranium, but instead to the genus Pelargonium. The terms geraniums and pelargoniums are often used interchangeably, but in … Read more. The plants we all know as geraniums are correctly called pelargoniums, having 'borrowed' their common name from a member of the same plant family, Geraniaceae. Pelaragonium is derived from the Greek for stork, because the seed capsule is said to resemble a stork’s bill, while Geranium means crane, because it’s supposed to look like a crane’s bill. In some areas they are grown as annuals. Botanically, they are called Pelargonium. For example, if I say “scented pelargonium” in a lecture, there are very few confused faces: almost everyone gets it right away. Geranium is a genus of 422 species of annual, biennial, and perennial plants that are commonly known as geraniums or cranesbills. Pelargoniums are a genus of flowering plants that include as many as 280 species. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Where did the confusion come from? Some Types of Geranium. My guess is that all your plants are pelargoniums. Grown as annuals or brought indoors for the winter; Most have sturdy stems, often upright, that survive from one year to the next; Grown outdoors year round, almost never indoors; Herbaceous perennials (they usually die to the ground or to creeping rhizomes in the winter, then sprout again in the spring). How to Collect Geranium Seeds from Plant (With Pictures) Collecting geranium seeds from plant is not that easy because of the way these seeds are displayed. These are not called scented geraniums. They are scented Pelargoniums different from … Genus of flowering plants in the family Geraniaceae Geranium Geranium dissectum Scientific classification Kingdom: Plantae Clade: Tracheophytes Clade: Angiosperms Clade: Eudicots Clade: Rosids Order: Geraniales Family: Geraniaceae Genus: Geranium L. Species See list. Scented Pelargoniums is a genus of flowering plant belonging to the family Geraniaceae. 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