Pelargonium trichome

magnification pelargonium glandular hairs

The scented fragrance that range from rose,mint,balsam, lemon,pineapple and other aromas obtained on the leaves of many species & hybrid pelargoniums are created inside the trichome, these are tiny fine hairs that cover the surface of the leaf and grow from cells on the epidermis. Trichome (meaning hair in Greek) is produced in order to protect itself against plant eating insects, the scented fragrance is created in a glandular ball at the end of each fine hair which helps to prevent insects from damaging or feeding off the leaves. Only glandular hairs produce a scent and the trichome’s on the leaves of the pelargonium species can vary in size and shape some are spherical, bulb or are diamond shaped at the tip.

Rose essential oils can be produced from the leaves of P. capitatum, P. radens and P. graveolens which are mostly used in perfume, skin care and also aromatherapy, it is also good for relaxing the muscles

Spring flowers

Many Pelargoniums are now flowering in Springtime among other lovely plants in the garden, flowers of pinks, purples, oranges and fresh green foliage all add beauty to the surroundings.  Scented pelargoniums of P. denticulatum, P. odoratissmum, P. quercifolium and Vitifolium have now started to flower.

Geranium bronze butterfly

geranium bronze butterfly web

Originally from South Africa the pelargonium butterfly also known as the geranium bronze (cacyrens marshalli) had been introduced into some areas of Europe mostly the Mediterranean regions and has spread more rapidly since the 1990s, the caterpillar or eggs could have been on the undersides of pelargonium leaves when they were transported as cultivated garden plants, but this is not certain.

They are regarded as pests and an invasive species to pelargoniums and geraniums and can cause a lot of damage especially during Summer when flowers and flower buds can be completely destroyed which can also lead to disease and even death.

Recorded Areas of Europe that have been inhabited by the pelargonium butterfly include Spain, France (Mediterranean regions), Italy, Portugal, Balearic Islands, Canary Islands, Malta, Greece and Turkey and the UK , but they may be restricted to certain districts.

The wing decorations of the butterfly are brown with a black outline around the edge interlaced with white, underneath the wings it is greyish brown in colour with blotches and a thin tail.