The pelargonium species are not only admired for their wide variety of leaf shapes, scents and floral colours but also for their flower and petal shapes. Some types can vary and there are numerous differences in shape, size, nectar tube length and the number of petals. Some have long oblong petals like that of P. grossularioides left, a fruit scented leaf pelargonium, the flowers of this species tend to be small in size, up to about 10 mm across and form a compact inflorescence of many short flower stalks, like an umbel. The upper petals have dark purple markings and very thin flower stalks. It is a low spreading plant with kidney-shaped leaves that are similar in appearance to a gooseberry leaf.
The purplish-pink flower petals of Pelargonium denticulatum below are also quite oblong but are not so elongated, the upper petal also bends back sightly and the lower petals are slightly smaller in size. Dark red or purple markings are visible on the upper petals, whereas the lower petals contain three petal claws (narrow stalks at the base of the segment). Each flower stalk contains up to six flowers, It is a low growing shrub with dark green sticky finely divided leaves.
The strong lemony balm scented pelargonium vitifolium below has two large upper petals with dark reddish-purple markings and three oblong lower petals with purple veins, at about 15 mm across and appears lighter at the centre. Each flowering stalk contains up to ten pink to light purplish-pink flowers and its leaves resemble that of a vine leaf. This plant is a large upright shrub with coarsely toothed heart-shaped leaves.
The flowers of Pelargonium cucullatum below have large ovate shaped upper petals, narrower at the base with purplish-pink markings & veins, the lower petals are slightly smaller and narrower with lighter pink veins. Each flower is 4 cm across and the flowering stalk contains about five flowers. It is an upright branching slightly woody shrub with rounded toothed leaves that tilt upwards forming a cup shape.
Pelargonium inquinans has red scarlet flowers but also has other colours such as light pink, salmon and white. The flower petals are more rounded and all appear the same size but the two upper petals are slightly smaller and upward, whereas the three lower petals are more equally spaced. The inflorescence contains an array of five to thirty flowers. It is an upright branching shrub with light green heart-shaped leaves with a velvety texture that is covered by glandular hairs.
These flowers listed here are mostly pollinated by bees but others have different sized nectar tubes for various insects to pollinate them, such as beetles, moths, wasps, flies and various bee types that have long tongues.
Pelargonium graveolens L’Her Rose geranium A beautiful pelargonium which is believed to be a cross between graveolens x radens and is often used for rose oil in perfume, soap and also toothpaste. It has pale pink flowers with thin purple lines on the upper petals & each flowering stalk has about 1-7 flowers. P. Graveolens L’ Her is an up right shrub with a spreading growth often trailing along the ground and up walls to reach towards the light and prefers slightly sandy soil conditions in semi shade. It is ideal for fragrant gardens, rock gardens,or pots.
Pelargonium ranunculophyllum Horse shoe zoned pelargonium A lovely graceful pelargonium which has attractive rounded palmately lobed leaves with a reddish to deep purple zone (horse shoe mark) in the centre. The flowers are narrow and white to pink sometimes with reddish markings on the upper petals and pale orange to yellow pollen, they are arranged on long upright flowering stalks which contains about 2-3 flowers. P. ranunculophyllum is a low growing plant with long delicate stems and is smaller in size than P. alchemilloides which has similar characteristics and with thinner stems. It is native to the Eastern Cape where it grows in rocky sandstone or on mountainsides over 1000 m, best grown in part shade in pots or planted in the garden and also combined with other plants.
Pelargonium littorale Pelargonium littorale Huegel A graceful pelargonium with delicate pinkish stems and pale pink flowers with dark purple markings on the upper petals & each flowering stalk contains 2-7 flowers. P. littorale is an upright low growing shrub which grows to about 10 – 50 cm in height and has heart shaped leaves. It is native to South West Australia where it grows in coastal areas from the South Eastern corner to Geraldton in the North. The name Littorale is derived from the Latin word ‘Littorlis” meaning shore (or grows close to the shore or littoral waters. Best planted in a small to medium sized pot or planted in the garden which is partly shaded by taller plants or rock garden.
New fresh seeds of Pelargonium mollicomum, pineapple scented leaf. An attractive & graceful pelargonium with a slightly exotic appearance, it has creamy white flowers with thin purple lines on the upper petals & each flowering stalk has about 1-5 flowers. The light green rounded leaves are pineapple scented with a dark zone in the centre. P. Mollicomum is a low growing shrub which reaches to about 50 cm/20 inches in height and prefers slightly sandy soil conditions. The name “mollicomum” is derived from the Latin word meaning soft hairs. It is ideal for fragrant gardens, window boxes,hanging baskets or pots.
New fresh seeds Pelargonium scabrum A pretty pelargonium with strong lemon scented rhomboidal shaped leaves and white flowers.
The angel pelargoniums are hybrids believed to be derived from P. crispum a lemon scented pelargonium and P. grossularioides a fruit scented pelargonium.
Although they have almost certainly been crossed several times with hybrids such as the regal and other pelargonium species with one of its parents or closely related types.
It was named the Angel pelargonium pelargonium by Dereck Clifford because they looked similar to Pelargonium dumosum which was illustrated and described by Sweet, the Latin name “Dumus” meaning house of the church which may have had some reference to Angel.
Pelargonium crispum may have been crossed with a hybrid known as ” the Shar” but this is not certain, The first known pelargonium Angels to be created was by Arthur Langley Smith who produced many with pink, white and pale purple flowered varieties with veins and patterned markings. Arthur was a school teacher who lives in London, he named one of his creations ” Mrs G H Smith” a white flowered pelargonium with blushes of bright pink after his wife of the same name.
Angel pelargoniums such as P. crispum angel eyes still have leaves that are very similar to P. crispum and are usually scented, the species pelargonium P crispum has fan shaped crisped edged leaves that are lemon scented and is used for essential oil and potpourri. This plant is native to South Africa in the Western Cape where it grows in sandy rocky areas, on mountainsides and hills.
P. tritidum is also believed to have been used to create the hybrid angel pelargonium which was introduced to Kew gardens in the late 1700s by Masson. It is also known as the brittle stalked pelargonium because it has delicate thin stems and bright green leaves which are divided into 2-3 leaflets and has a strong unpleasant fragrance, the flowers are white with deep purple markings native to the Western and Eastern Cape.
The angel pelargonium “hybrid”Henry Weller” which has large dark purple pansy like flowers with a white outline, has similar leaves and long flower stems to P. grossularioides a fruit scented pelargonium with leaves that closely resembles a gooseberry leaf which is kidney shaped, the flowers are small and reddish purple and is native to coastal areas of South Africa and also further inland in the Eastern Cape.