The Pelargonium species comprises of about 200 or more perennials, succulents and shrubs.
The Pelargonium species are equally as appealing as their cultivated varieties, zonals, regals and ivy leafed and can be captivating and intriguing plants. They are reasonably easy to grow and rarely have any problems with pests and diseases.
They have become more admired over the centuries because of their delightful perfumed flowers and aromatic scented leaves.They have also gained popularity in the production of aromatic oils and also medicinal properties.
Pelargoniums are generally known as Geraniums but were later classed as two individual groups in 1789 by Charles L Heritier. The word pelargonium is derived from t
he Greek word “pelargos” meaning stork because the seed head resembles that of a stork.
The first known pelargoniums to be cultivated in Europe was the P.triste, a tuberous rooted plant which could withstand long voyages by ship.
Thousands of cultivated varieties of pelargoniums selected for their desirable characteristics, were originally from a few native species which may still exist in South Africa to this day.
Pelargonium Species World is a Mother and Daughter family business which specializes in Species Pelargoniums situated in a mountainous area of Crete, Greece with the natural beauty of the fauna and Flora.
We are working together with nature and wildlife, all our plants are grown naturally in a natural environment with no chemicals, pesticides or fungicides.
We wish all our customers & followers a Merry Christmas & a Happy New year from Pelargonium Species World
Image by Couleur-pixabay.com
Our online store will be closed during the Christmas holidays on the 25th & 26th December, and also on the 1st January and the 6th January (epiphany) 2023.
All orders will be dispatched before or after these dates when the post office is open. Please also be aware that recent orders could be delayed due to public holidays during the Christmas period & New years.
Top image tree & Merry Christmas text by Pezibear-pixabay.com
The summer dormant pelargoniums of P. triste, P. gibbosum and P. echinatum are now beginning to grow new foliage.
Pelargonium triste was the first pelargonium to be brought to Europe during the 17th century because its thick tuberous root could withstand long periods without water and would grow again in the rainy season, native to the Northern & Eastern Cape in flat sandy coastal areas or on mountainsides. It is a succulent geophyte with a thick fleshy tuber and hairy feather-like leaves, the flowers are cream in colour with dusty pink stripes which are only scented at night, producing a clove-like aroma to attract moths that pollinate it. It was grown in the UK as early as 1632 and was known as the night-scented Indian geranium first believed to have come from India, as it was discovered at the Cape before proceeding to the East by Ship and was used in the treatment of dysentery. Its botanical name ‘Triste’ means sad and dull due to the drab colour of the flowers, yet it is believed its scent can spread over an entire room. It is lovely to see its fern-like shoots emerge in Autumn which turn into its carrot leaf-like foliage, we have had this plant for several years on the window sill but has not yet flowered and although it doesn’t do much during the Summer it certainly is a fascinating species.
Pelargonium triste when a young
Pelargonium gibbosum is another summer dormant species that is now growing new foliage, a low-growing scrambling pelargonium with succulent stems and swollen nodes which become woodier as it matures and over time can become quite brittle and may break with ease. The leaves are bluish-grey and pinnately lobed, toothed or with lobed leaflets. It is also called the gouty or knotted pelargonium and is believed to have been grown in Chelsea Physic gardens, London in 1714 known for its wide range of medicinal plants and herbs for apothecaries. Cuttings are easily made in Autumn when the stems have become too long and when cut and added to a new compost-filled pot they begin to grow almost immediately.
Pelargonium echinatum has now also developed new leaves in Autumn, a small compact succulent shrub with thick stems, bearing attractive three to eight white blooms with deep reddish purple blotches on long flower stalks in winter, the leaves are oval to heart-shaped with rounded toothed margins. Its botanical name ‘echinatum’ means spiny and is also known as the prickly stemmed pelargonium because of its spiny stems, when in its dormant state in Summer it absorbs sunlight through its thick stems. This plant is native to the Northern and Eastern Cape on dry rocky slopes, on cliffs or under bushy shrubs, it was brought to the gardens of Kew in 1789 by the botanist Francis Masson during his search for rare and unusual flora in South Africa and was grown at Chelsea Physic Garden, London in 1780.
New seedlings of P. hispidum, P. rober’s lemon rose and P.capitatum ‘attar of roses’ have now germinated.
Pelargonium capitatum ‘attar of roses’ is similar to that of the species P. capitatum but has a stronger scent and brighter flowers. it is a trailing plant which is more upright than P. capitatum.
Rober’s lemon rose (pictured above) is a charming pelargonium with rose lemon-scented velvety leaves and resembles that of a goose foot or tomato leaf. The flowers are purplish pink with deep purple veins and are believed to be a cultivar of graveolens. This plant grows well in a pot near the house so you can inhale its lovely scent as you brush past or as a garden plant to admire its delicate pastel pink blooms throughout the year. It shows some similarities to its parent plant P. graveolens, also known as the sweet scented geranium which has rose minty scent and triangular deeply incised leaves, soft to the touch with a velvety texture. known in Europe as early as the 17th century when its leaves were used to make perfume and potpourri as well as added to food and beverages.
Pelargonium ionidiflorum is now in flower, a lovely woody low growing shrub with bright violet flowers which is ideal as a garden plant combine with other shrubs or in a pot to display with its long dainty flower stems and striking blooms. The stems are greyish brown rough and woody with small celery scented deeply lobed leaves. Its name means violet colour flowers from the Greek ‘ion’ meaning violet in colour and from the Latin ‘florum’ meaning flower, it is native to small areas of the Eastern Cape of South Africa in rocky ground and in parts of the Karoo.
Like that of the pelargoniums many succulents also grow in similar areas of South Africa, The Huernia Pillansii is now in flower,which are star-shaped cream in colour with reddish blotches and soft thick stems with bristles. It is native to the Eastern and Western Cape on stony ground.
In the Mediterranean, cicadas nymphs can cause a lot of damage to the roots of pelargoniums and other young plants by piercing them with their sharp jaws and then feasting on their juices, which are sweet tasting like sugar. This causes the pelargonium to slowly deteriorate, as they create small burrows in the soil just below the roots after the adult cicadas have laid clutches of eggs (on woody stems or bark about 3.81cm or more) and can go unnoticeable until the leaves begin to turn yellow. Potted plants seem to be more susceptible than ones which are planted in the ground. They are native to Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, America and parts of Asia and the Pacific, with an estimate of around 3,000 species around the globe.
These noisy winged creatures that arrive during the summer are known to suck the sap out of trees and shrubs during feeding. larger trees are less affected, but the more sensitive or young ones may need to be covered with netting which reaches over the whole of the plant so the cicadas don’t have any access to it, this will need to be done before their arrival and when it starts to get hotter in temperature.
If you think your plant may have been affected you can remove the pot after it has been watered, possibly pulling away some of the soil at the base and checking for any signs of small barrows and or cicadas nymphs, rootworms can also be a problem for some gardeners. For pelargoniums planted in the ground, it may need to be dug up and their roots checked and replanted in another location, the plant will be weak at this point so best to place it in a shady place for a while until it is returned to health.
The lovely magenta flowers of P. reniforme, a trailing low growing shrubby plant with greyish green soft velvet-like leaves which have a very light aromatic scent and are more silver in colour underneath, the name ‘reniforme’ refers to the kidney-shaped leaves. The flowers are formed in an inflorescence of about ten flowers on long flowering stems, the two upper petals are thin and oblong with darker veins and blotches.
This plant has tuber-like roots which can be used medicinally as an infusion for curing several ailments, mostly respiratory and chest infections, such as bronchitis, tuberculosis & dysentery (from the 1890s) for both humans and animals, it is unknown if it causes any side effects, the powdered form is used as a face cream to help remove pimples and is also believed to have antimicrobial benefits used to kill or reduce bacteria.
There appear to be two different forms of P. reniforme, the first has trailing stems which become woodier as it matures with less curving bright flowers and thicker flower petals, while the other has a more upright growth resembling that of P. sidoides with bigger leaves, which tends to be rarer in cultivation.
It is native to the Eastern Cape and Lesotho on higher ground where it grows in hot sandy conditions or open areas covered with grasses and can also grow well in a range of different altitudes. Unfortunately, native plants are illegally taken from the wild and sold or used medicinally possibly causing the slow decline of this amazing species.
We now have new seeds available at our store, pelargonium peltatum-pale pink, white & purple pink mix.
A beautiful trailing pelargonium with attractive leaves and flowers. The leaves are slightly fragrant, rounded, fleshy with a slightly succulent appearance and a dark circular zone in the centre.
The flowers can vary in colour from pastel shades of white, pink or pale purple & each flowering stalk has about 2-9 flowers.
P. peltatum is a trailing slightly succulent plant that likes to trail through other shrubs or trees and is ideal for hanging baskets, window boxes, medium sized pots or planted next to trees or trellis.
unfortunately we only have a limited availability of seeds this year, but will try hard to have more available in summer 2023. view on our website
We also have new seeds of Pelargonium multibracteatum-
A charming pelargonium with branching stems and lightly scented soft green rounded lobed leaves with a darker zone in the centre, the flowers are white with a slight pink tinge at the base & each flowering stalk has about 5-16 flowers.
P. Multibracteatum is a spreading shrub which reaches to about 50 cm/20 inches in height.
The name “multibracteatum” refers to the many bracts of this plant and is native to East Africa, Somalia, Ethiopia, Sudan & Arabia. It is ideal for pots or planted in the garden.
Pelargonium frutetorum has just started to bloom, with striking bright pale salmon flowers and reddish veins.
An excellent plant for containers or planted in the garden which can attract butterflies, bees & other wildlife. It is a spreading shrub with red brown thick stems and dark purple brown zoned rounded leaves, that shows some similarities to multibracteatum.
This plant is native to the Eastern Cape, from Alexandra to Peddie growing in thickets and was collected by the botanist William John Burchell during his travels to South Africa in the 1800s, then taken to England, where a number of hybrids have been developed from this plant. The rest of his collection of 50,000 specimens which include plants, seeds, bulbs, insects, fish & animal skins are now at Kew gardens.
The name frutetorum refers to the shrubby appearance of this pelargonium.
Summer has finally arrived and the garden is full of blooms especially the Pelargonium species, with many butterflies, bees, lizards and our latest visitor a slow worm who remains hidden in our stone wall.
P. peltatum (pink form & pale purplish pink form) are flowering well this year, a lovely trailing pelargonium which grows in hanging baskets, they have rounded fleshy leaves and can range in colour from white, pink or pale purple.
Pelargonium australe has also just started to flower with its lovely long flowering stems and white blooms, native to Australia. This plant grows well in a pot or planted in the garden in full sun to part shade.
Another is Pelargonium odoratissimum which has soft velverty heart shaped apple scented leaves and small white flowers.
Pelargonium mollicomum has recently opened its creamy white flowers with thin purple lines, it is another pelargonium which grows well in hanging baskets and beneath taller shrubs
Unfortunately Pelargonium hispdum has not flowered yet, maybe because it was suffered in the harsh winter weather. But possibly it will flower a little later in Summer hopefully.
We try to leave in as much wild flowers as possible for bees and butterflies which come from neighbouring land, the milk thistle which has light purple flowers especially attracts many types of butterflies. The swallowtail butterflies prefer fennel and lay their eggs on the leaves. The many lizards like to hide under shrubs such as the rosemary and other herbs.
Others include Pelargonium abrotanifolium, P. greytonense, P. scabrum & P. quercifolium.
we now have fresh seeds of P. odoratissmum- apple scented leaf & P. grossularioides- fruit scented leaf
We wish all our customers and followers a happy Easter. Or to celebrate the arrival of spring with the growth of plants, flowers and the spouting of new seedlings. Greek Orthodox Easter is from April 22nd to the 25th The postal service will remain closed during this time and all orders will be kept back until they can be dispatched.