Showing posts with label Pelargoniums. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Pelargoniums. Show all posts

June 10, 2010

Pelargonium crazy

Pelargonium gibbosum, an evening fragrant species of Pelargonium (Geranium) from South Africa seems virtually boring when compared to other species and other hybids which are in bloom now in the greenhouse. Tis, the Geranium (Pelargonium) season.
Pelargonium x stipulaceum, a hybrid with bright coral flowers, and fleshy leaves which makes the entire plant appear very 'species like".
The heirloom variety from 1910, Pelargonium 'Lord Bute' is almost black.

April 13, 2010

The Butterfly Pelargonium

Pelargonium papilionaceum

This rare Pelargonium ( Greenhouse Geranium ) also known as the 'Butterfly Pelargonium is a hard t o find, yet easy to grow Plant in a highly collectable and growable genus, Pelargonium. These South African plants can be divided generally into three types, those which are summer dormant, those which are winter dormant, and those which grow year round. Pelargoniums are perhaps the most familiar of house and window box plants ( think - the common red geranium and swiss balcony geraniums), and one can see the similarities when you zoom in close to the blossoms on many species, but this one is particularly nice.

It is a new addition to my collection, and the first time it has bloomed for me. Available from Geraniaceae.com, this plant hasn't turned out to look anything like it's original description, since the flowers are smaller than I imagined ( it was described as having large butterfly-like blossoms with two large petals. Up close, I get it, from a foot away? They are the size of a fingernail, or a small, pantry moth. Still, the entire inflorescence is lovely, and it stands out in the greenhouse.). In the wild, in it's native environment, this is a Pelargonium which does not like full sun, but prefers shady, stream banks called Kloofs.

I expect this Pelargonium to perform well all summer in a container out doors, perhaps planted with other species forms. At first glance, it looks like one of the peppermint scented Pelargoniums ( geranium), with large 4 inch fuszzy leaves, and a branching habit. Described as having a fragrance, or as being scented, the one aspect they left out of the description is that the scent is exactly that of a musty sponge left in the kitchen sink. I hereby rename this, the Moldy Scrunge® Scented Geranium ( or the Panty Moth Pelargonium). Still, very pretty, isn't it?

February 1, 2010

Potting up Geranium maderense,and more

The massive, and rarely seen Geranium maderense, which I had grown from seed last spring, is starting to mature. I am hoping that this impressive species blooms this spring. A tender species from Madeira, it is sometimes seen in older gardening books, and even grown at Christopher Lloyd Great Dixter at the entrance to the main house. This is s white form of the more common mauve, but what makes this plant so spectacular is it's floral display, producing a massive cluster of flowers which sits directly over the huge, palmate foliage, each head containing hundreds, of flowers. It may self seed in the ideal medeterraniean conditions of California, but in large containers in the north, it can make a stunning plant. Unfortunately, it is a biennial, and although it takes 2 years to bloom from seed, it will most likely die, in the third. Seeds of this white flowered strain, are costly, but can be obtained pre-chilled at Jeletto seeds in Germany ( they have a great website, and ship worldwide). Don't make the mistake I did, and plant your seeds in the greenhouse where it is cool, it took me 2 years to find out that the seeds germinate at temperatures above 80 deg. F. Once germinated, which was fast, within 2 weeks with these pre-treated seeds, they can then be moved to a cool, sunny spot aroung 50 degrees F.

Geranium maderense in its slightly more common color, a mauve form.

Geranium maderense repotted into a larger pot, in which it will most likely remain until after it blooms this spring.

A seedling of Lachenalia reflexa, grown from seed collected from a pot I had grown 5 years ago. These "Yellow Soldiers". as they are known in both South Africa where they are native, and in Australia, are now invasive weeds and the species is finding itself on many country's invasive seed list. Invasive species and the risk of introducing them is a real concern to you environment, but for me, here in the winter-cold areas of northern New England, this genus offers little risk. It does seem a little silly with my one plant, grown from 5 seeds that I saved from a bulb which I grew from a packet of wild collected seed, but the idea would not be silly if I lived in San Diego or Los Angeles. In Australia, some areas have the ground covered with thousand of these lachenalia speices. care must always be taken, I am not aware of this particular species being added to any American seed restriction list, yet, but I would imagine that it will be, soon.

Look, my first Robin of the year! We went out and bought meal worms today, after all, it's January.

A seedling of Cyclamen coum starts to bloom with tiny, cyclamen flowers.

...and yes, these cold, yet sunny January days offer little for the kids to do outside, although, and large Racoon grumbled across the lawn this afternoon, and Margaret and Fergus somehow got the sluggish creature stuck in a tree, along the edge of our yard, with some help from our Polish immigrant neighbors' German Shepard whose name we really don't know, for they call Lubby, or nubby, or buh-yay, we'll just call him Buddy. Ahh....a little excitement at last! Go, bubay, go! Atta boy.