“Unique pelargoniums” are hybrids which originate from Pelargonium fulgidum, probably because of the brightly coloured flowers. Some hybrids have been developed to have larger & more showy flowers usually of reds, pinks and whites which can have splashes or veins of similar colours and bio colour leaves.
P. fulgidum has bright red scarlet flowers with long wavy leaves & soft hairs, native to the Western Cape in coastal areas. It is a low growing spreading shrub and is semi succulent.
This plant was presented to Holland during the 1800s and was later grown in Italian & English gardens. It is uncertain what other pelargonium species were used for hybridizing “unique” pelargoniums, possibly a white flower species.
During the mid 1800s A “white Unique” pelargonium ( originated from P. Fulgidum) was hybrizated with “ old Unique” (Rollinson’s Crimson) pelargonium.
Unique hybrids include:
Stocks bill “white Unique” pelargonium- white with reddish markings.
Atrium- pale pink reddish flowers with crimson markings on the upper petals
bolero- large pink flowers with mahogany markings.
Mme Nonin- flowers pale lavender with white
Claret rock unique- bright red flowers with dark veins
Duchess of Devonshire- salmon pink flowers with mahogany markings
The Duke and Duchess of Devonshire flowers were mentioned in the British florist: lady’s journal of horticulture, vol 2 1846 as follows:
“ Mr G. Hudson’s two seedlings pink of last year, the Duke & Duchess of Devonshire, again justifies the high character given to them and when more generally distributed cannot fail to be leading favourites”
It is uncertain if these are pelargoniums but they were noted as pinks first class (flowers), The Hudson’s Duke of Devonshire is said to have purple laced flowers but at the moment I cannot find any record of it.