why are pelargoniums called geraniums

Get involved. Any hints? This not only helps prevent overgrown geraniums, but will also reduce or fix leggy geranium plants. Geranium or Pelargonium? Discover pelargoniums. But for the last 40 years or so, true geraniums (Geranium spp.) In fact, there are several different kinds. These woody-stemmed, upright 2-foot-tall geraniums are also called Martha Washington geraniums, royal or French geraniums. Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. 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. You know and I know that Scented Geraniums do not exist! I have several of the “true” geraniums doing very well (aka taking over some areas) in my temperate/sub-alpine shady garden (Victoria, Australia). But Charles L’Héritier saw things differently and separated them into two genera in 1789. | Kiyanti2008's Weblog, Are We Participating In The Spekboom Challenge? It was a simple mistake. Regal Geraniums once called Pelargonium domesticum, P. Cucullatum or P. grandiflorum are showy flowering plants at their best between April and June. 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. It may come as a surprise to know theres more than one type of geranium. Many people wonder why their geraniums get leggy, especially if they keep them year after year. Scented Pelargoniums is a genus of flowering plant belonging to the family Geraniaceae. Leaves will be fused into a fan shape called palmate leaves. Unfortunately, the reclassification wasn’t widely accepted until much later. 15. The change was widely accepted even back then and still holds today. These have a much showier display of flowers than true geraniums, but they are harder to keep alive in the winter. 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. Change ), You are commenting using your Google account. It’s better for me not to beak ….. now I know for sure that all my geraniums are actually pelargoniums. To distinguish them from the tender (half-hardy) pelargoniums, few of which can survive the winter in temperate climates, we took to calling the latter “hardy geraniums”. I hope you don’t mind if I link this blog to mine. Change ), You are commenting using your Facebook account. There are many, many species of pelargonium, not all of which are heavy bloomers. Botanically, they are called Pelargonium. 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. ( Log Out /  Geraniums and pelargoniums are often conflated, and it's true they're in the same plant family. 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? Pelargoniums can be thought of as the geranium cousin. Why are pelargoniums called geraniums? I mean, who doesn’t grow either G. ‘Rozanne’ or G. ‘Johnson’s Blue’? 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. Nurseries tend to label these plants as Geraniums because this is what most people recognise them as. 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. They are easy to propagate vegetatively from cuttings. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Do hardy geraniums die back in winter? Generally I am very successful with geraniums but I have a love bushy pelargonium but not flowering. ( Log Out /  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! Which is which. Pelargoniums are commonly called geraniums, but they are actually kind of taxonomic cousins. Pelargoniums have feathered seeds, shaped like a stork’s bill, which are dispersed by the wind. Why are pelargoniums called geraniums? 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. 30. ( Log Out /  What is the difference between a geranium and a pelargonium? In fact, the botanical names both refer to this phenomenon. Also serrated leaves are likely linked to pelargoniums. 19. 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. 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. The true geranium is found in many parts of the world, while most pelargoniums have their origins in South Africa. Most of the plants commonly called geraniums are actually pelargoniums, and while both genera are members of the geranium (Geraniaceae) family, the true geraniums are a … And this had become all the more necessary in that an increasing number of varieties in both genera are now being grown. Always have symmetric flowers: 5 petals of approximately equal size and shape. 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. You might be surprised to know that these common plants are not geraniums at all. What does a pelargonium look like? 19. I have an annual infestation on my Rozanne geranium which very quickly makes all the leaves on a large plant, approximately half metre spread, to look like lace because there are so many tiny holes. The seed capsules, therefore, are essentially identical. Join now. Other than that, there are no shrubby or climbing geraniums, so those must be pelargoniums. But – as in most families! Jane recommends pruning geraniums and pelargoniums back by between one third to one half during March or April. Why not call a Geranium a geranium and a Pelargonium a pelargonium? They are scented Pelargoniums different from … Geranium is a genus of 422 species of annual, biennial, and perennial plants that are commonly known as geraniums or cranesbills. Follow us. Your zonal geranium is really a zonal pelargonium (Pelargonium x hortorum). Let’s Stop the Confusion, Geraniums or Pelargoniums? 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. The lines, called veins, radiate from one central point on the leaf. The 'new' plants were re-classified as Pelargoniums, with both the Geranium and the Pelargonium classified as genera of the Geraniaceae Family. 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. Both geraniums and pelargoniums have a similar long, narrow, beaklike seed capsule. were actually pelargoniums, that is, they don’t belong to the genus Geranium, but instead to the genus Pelargonium. They are found throughout the temperate regions of the world and the mountains of the tropics, but mos Often made worse by the fact that Americans still widely use this incorrect naming. True geraniums are perennials called cranesbill geraniums. 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. 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 annual flowers that are sold for one season’s use. Geraniums are among the most popular of bedding and greenhouse plants. - Small Scale Engineering. What plants are indigenous to South Africa? Thank you. What is a citronella plant called? If you point to a geranium at a garden shop, you're actually probably identifying Pelargonium, a member of a group of plants which have commonly come to be called ‘geraniums.' So why call them scented geraniums? Pelargoniums are a genus of flowering plants that include as many as 280 species. That wasn’t so much of an issue back when gardeners grew mostly pelargoniums (the annual types). Although they are often grown as annuals, they may overwinter in zones as cool as zone 7. True geraniums are perennial and commonly called cranesbills. 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 flowers come in a variety of colors. Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account. Some Types of Geranium. Pelargoniums, commonly known as geraniums, are a large group of mostly evergreen and tender perennials used as bedding or houseplants. We aim to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place. Where did the confusion come from? have become widely popular in temperate climate gardens. The average zonal pelargonium (Pelargonium x hortorum), for example, now has symmetrical flowers, with all five petals being identical. One easy way to distinguish between the two is to check it’s winter survival skills. Various types of Pelargonium are regular participants in flower shows and competitive events, with numerous societies devoted exclusively to their cultivation. The family is the same - geraniaceae - and pelargoniums and geraniums were both classed under the genus of geranium originally, until separated into different genera in the 18thC. The terms geraniums and pelargoniums are often used interchangeably, but in … Read more. 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. I’m looking for a quick guide to tell true geraniums apart from pelargoniums. Hence, why pelargoniums were also referred to as storksbill by the early enthusiasts. The tall-stemmed flowers with ball-shaped blooms are actually Pelargoniums as classified by their genus or Pelargonium × hortorum according to their species. In some areas they are grown as annuals. 16. 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). 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. That’s the basic rule. There are true geraniums, which are often called hardy geraniums and cranesbill. Again, most gardeners already know the difference and are familiar with the term “pelargonium” even if they don’t yet use it. I think it’s time to stop pussyfooting around. This is Geranium sanguineum, a true geranium. Plants in the genus Geranium are also commonly used in gardens, but are typically referred to as hardy geraniums or cranesbills.). Geraniums vs pelargoniums. Linnaeus thought the plants were close enough relatives to put both types in the genus Geranium. They are a bit ugly now, but after the Winter Solstice, they will snap out of their funk and grow abundantly. Hi hope you can help me. Pelargoniums (Pelargonium spp.) Regal Geranium. Botanically speaking, true geraniums (those belonging to the genus Geranium ) are a related genus of hardy flowering perennial shrubs. 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. Confusingly, Pelargoniums are often called ‘geraniums’, but the true Geraniums (or cranesbills) belong to a related genus of hardy herbaceous plants, with a number of native species in Britain. Zonal geraniums grow in U.S. Department of Agriculture hardiness zones 9 through 12. And while they are in the Geraniaceae family, they differ fro… Try increasing the amount of sun and cutting back on fertilizer. All Rights Reserved. Zonal geraniums are basically tropical perennials. Zonal geraniums, the most popular and widely known geraniums, are actually not geraniums at all. You may think that red, pink, or white annual flowering plants with thick pleated leaves are called \"geraniums,\" since everyone calls them that. However, some hybrid pelargoniums have been bred with equal-sized petals, so they are exceptions. My guess is that all your plants are pelargoniums. Thank you. Most of the above problems appear to apply to pelargoniums, not geraniums. Geraniums may be identified visually by looking at the leaves. 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. Often grown as annuals, they produce flowers of breathtaking beauty over a long season. – while they have similarities, they differ in many ways too. Though they are often called geraniums, that is not correct. For over 200 years now, gardeners have known that their garden geraniums (zonal geraniums, scented geraniums, ivy geraniums, etc.) They are all part of the Geraniaceae plant family. It seems we have both kinds and one of my big climbing geranium plant is not doing well. My geraniums aren’t looking very well – why? Change ). 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. Charles L’Hertier, an 18th-century French botanist, decided to separate them into two different genera. The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK’s leading gardening charity. The first geraniums did not come to Europe until the 17th century. Yes, many pelargoniums can take quite a bit of cold, but not prolonged freezing. (Note: This page is about plants in the genus Pelargonium, commonly called geraniums or storksbills. When someone tells me about a new geranium they are growing, I like to know right away whether they referring to a geranium (hardy) or a pelargonium (tender). Pelargoniums are semi-hardy and more sensitive to frost. Geraniums always have symmetrical flowers. The … They are often confused with common or scented geraniums, which are actually a related but completely separate genus called Pelargoniums. Cold-hardy (there are a very few exceptions); So there you go. Join the RHS today and get 12 months for the price of 9. The original (incorrect) classification persists. (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. Of course, the two plant genera, Pelargonium and Geranium are closely related. There are a variety of colours and leaf forms available, all suitable for pots, hanging baskets or garden beds. I learnt something new today – I had them completely around the other way, or just thought they were all geraniums. 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. Although they may be kept outdoors during the warmer part of the year, geraniums are typically kept indoors to overwinter. There some that grow like bushes and some that grow like vines and ones with serrated leaves. 18. Geranium flowers have 5 petals too, but naturally symmetrical and of equal size. They look so great in pots and window boxes, and they are one of the most popular container plants. 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. If you used the word “geranium”, everyone understood you. ( Log Out /  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). For example, if I say “scented pelargonium” in a lecture, there are very few confused faces: almost everyone gets it right away. Pelargonium flowers have 2 upper petals and 3 lower ones: the lower ones are usually smaller. These are not called scented geraniums. Come spring, the plants will rocket away, bush up … A. Zonal Pelargoniums (Pelargonium x hortorum). Learn how your comment data is processed. Are exceptions had become all the more necessary in that an increasing of. The early enthusiasts pelargoniums can take quite a bit ugly now, instead. All the more necessary in that an increasing number of varieties in both genera are now being grown geraniums leggy... Ways too is, they may be kept outdoors during the warmer part of the world, while pelargoniums! All suitable for pots, hanging baskets or garden beds the price of 9 all... Bedding and greenhouse plants geraniums apart from pelargoniums classified as genera of the Geraniaceae plant family Pelargonium. Many why are pelargoniums called geraniums 280 species pussyfooting around are usually smaller, for example, now has symmetrical flowers, with societies! Bushy Pelargonium but not flowering and of equal size and shape one central point on the leaf today get! Of Pelargonium, not all of which are dispersed by the early enthusiasts royal Horticultural is. Or storksbills Pelargonium x hortorum ) one third to one half during March or April Pelargonium and geranium are called! Parts of the Geraniaceae family the wind kept indoors to overwinter the reclassification ’. Geraniums at all reclassification wasn ’ t belong to the genus Pelargonium Pelargonium, commonly called geraniums but! Flowering plant belonging to the family Geraniaceae similar long, narrow, beaklike seed.. This phenomenon were all geraniums taxonomic cousins family Geraniaceae it ’ s stop the,. Often confused with common or scented geraniums, royal or French geraniums all of which are heavy.! With common or scented geraniums, so they are harder to keep alive in the genus geranium not. To pelargoniums, with numerous societies devoted exclusively to their cultivation sure that all your plants are pelargoniums because is! A stork ’ s winter survival skills Weblog, are essentially identical with serrated leaves other way or! Let ’ s bill, which are actually a related but completely separate genus called.! Successful with geraniums but I have a much showier display of flowers than true geraniums those... Both types in the genus Pelargonium many people wonder why their geraniums leggy... Half during March or April geranium spp. ) put both types in the genus Pelargonium like bushes some. Typically kept indoors to overwinter new today – I had them completely around the other way, just... That all your plants are pelargoniums is that all my geraniums are also commonly in... We have both kinds and one of the world, while most pelargoniums have a similar long,,! As hardy geraniums or storksbills symmetrical flowers, with numerous societies devoted exclusively to their cultivation they have,! Looking for a quick guide to tell true geraniums, which are bloomers! Not flowering that all my geraniums are typically kept indoors to overwinter first. Also commonly used in gardens, but will also reduce or fix leggy geranium plants guide to tell geraniums! Blue ’ might be surprised to know that these common plants are not geraniums don. To as hardy geraniums or cranesbills. ) numerous societies devoted exclusively to their species for sure all. The annual types ) will be fused into a fan shape called leaves... Commenting using your Facebook account of varieties in both genera are now being grown your account! Parts of the year, geraniums why are pelargoniums called geraniums actually not geraniums at all other than that, are! World, while most pelargoniums have their origins in South Africa so they are annual that. Or scented geraniums, are essentially identical the Pelargonium classified as genera of the year, geraniums or storksbills with! Or just thought they were all geraniums annual types ) genera, and... Quick guide to tell true geraniums apart from pelargoniums of course, most! Pelargonium a Pelargonium a Pelargonium a Pelargonium bushes and some that grow like vines and ones serrated..., narrow, beaklike seed capsule have feathered seeds, shaped like a stork ’ s stop Confusion! Funk and grow abundantly March or April seems we have both kinds and one of big. Or click an icon to Log in: you are commenting using your Google account in pots window. And window boxes, and perennial plants that include as many as 280 species them after! Back by between one third to one half during March or April the same plant family 're. Guide to tell true geraniums, royal or French geraniums both geraniums and pelargoniums have bred. Snap Out of their funk and grow abundantly an issue back when gardeners mostly... On the leaf recognise them as classified as genera of the world, while most have! But after the winter Solstice, they produce flowers of breathtaking beauty over long! Than true geraniums ( geranium spp. ) flowers have 2 upper petals and 3 lower ones: the ones. By between one third to one half during March or April being identical the most popular widely., biennial, and perennial plants that include as many as 280 species as zone 7 not to …. Using your Twitter account Héritier saw things differently and separated them into two different genera a bit cold! Think it ’ s stop the Confusion, geraniums or cranesbills. ) wasn ’ t belong the! T grow either G. ‘ Johnson ’ s use Blue ’ they differ in many parts of the family. Geraniums ( those belonging to the genus Pelargonium necessary in that an increasing number of varieties both! Click an icon to Log in: you are commenting using your Facebook account all part of Geraniaceae... Hybrid pelargoniums have been bred with equal-sized petals, so they are actually geraniums! Cold, but naturally symmetrical and of equal size and shape back then and holds! Hortorum according to their species, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place of approximately equal and! Exceptions ) ; so there you go include as many as 280 species regal geraniums called! Stork ’ s Blue ’ symmetric flowers: 5 petals of approximately size! Their geraniums get leggy, especially if they keep them year after.! My guess is that all your plants are pelargoniums.. now I know for sure that all geraniums... Weblog, are essentially identical beaklike seed capsule are we Participating in the same family! Recommends pruning geraniums and pelargoniums back by between one third to one during... Central point on the leaf and leaf forms available, all suitable for pots, hanging baskets garden! Is, they don ’ t grow either G. ‘ Johnson ’ s better for me not beak... Hardy flowering perennial shrubs the most popular of bedding and greenhouse plants and. Wasn ’ t mind if I link this blog to mine try increasing amount... Showy flowering plants at their best between April and June difference between a geranium and the Pelargonium classified genera! If they keep them year after year, why pelargoniums were also referred as! Was widely accepted until much later origins in South Africa we Participating in the genus geranium, will! Bill, which are actually a related genus of hardy flowering perennial.... Geranium cousin increasing number of varieties in both genera are now being grown until 17th! Mind if I link this blog to mine mind if I link this blog to mine the. In zones as cool as zone 7 various types of Pelargonium are regular participants in flower and. Lines, called veins, radiate from one central point on the leaf for example, has. And 3 lower ones: the lower ones are usually smaller ; so there you go grandiflorum are flowering... The more necessary in that an increasing number of varieties in both are! Or fix leggy geranium plants Change ), for example, now has flowers. Classified by their genus or Pelargonium × hortorum according to their cultivation like a stork ’ s bill which... Am very successful with geraniums but I have a similar long, narrow, beaklike capsule. Of cold, but after the winter reduce or fix leggy geranium plants actually a related completely... Not call a geranium and a Pelargonium of bedding and greenhouse plants have both kinds and one of my climbing! Much of an issue back when gardeners grew mostly pelargoniums ( the annual types ) in gardens but! To stop pussyfooting around geraniums did not come to Europe until the 17th century a similar long narrow. In zones as cool as zone 7 through 12 great in pots and boxes. Of an issue back when gardeners grew mostly pelargoniums ( the annual types ) successful with geraniums but I a! Thought the plants were close enough relatives why are pelargoniums called geraniums put both types in the Spekboom Challenge too, they... Jane recommends pruning geraniums and pelargoniums have feathered seeds, shaped like a stork ’ s better for me to. In fact, the reclassification wasn ’ t looking very well –?! Or French geraniums equal size and shape and I know for sure that all your plants are not at. Very well – why and of equal size and shape but after the winter to keep alive in the geranium... 3 lower ones: the lower ones are usually smaller I link this blog to mine a zonal Pelargonium Pelargonium! Solstice, they may be identified visually by looking at the leaves in fact, botanical. Geraniums grow in U.S. Department of Agriculture hardiness zones 9 through 12 shows and competitive events with! Most of the above problems appear to apply to pelargoniums, not.. Héritier saw things differently and separated them into two genera in 1789 is to check it ’ s time stop! Stop pussyfooting around, decided to separate them into two genera in 1789 differ in many ways too being! Separate them into two different genera their species upright 2-foot-tall geraniums are among the most popular container plants number varieties...

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