(pell-are-go' nee-um)

Common name: Geranium

Family: Geraniaceae, Geranium

Height x width: 18" x 12"

Growth rate: moderate to fast

Foliage: mostly opposite, palmately or pinnately veined; entire, lobed or dissected margins; often with a strong odor

Flowers: red, pink, salmon, white; single and double; usually 5 sepals and 5 petals

Hardiness: annual

Soil: well-drained

Light: sun

Pests and problems: bacterial leaf spot, black leg, botrytis blight, root and stem rots, rust, mealybugs, caterpillars, spider mites, thrips (insect pests mainly in greenhouses)

Landscape habit, uses: massing, borders, containers, edging, hanging baskets (some cultivars), houseplant

Other interest: names from Greek pelargos meaning stork and geranion meaning crane, refering to shape of fruit

Other culture: perennial in zones 9-10, keep old flowers pickedoff for longest bloom

Propagation: some cultivars from seed (6000 seeds per ounce) sown 8-10 weeks before planting out; others from stem cuttings


Of the 250 species, many cultivars and hybrids have been developed and placed into 17 classes or groups. The most common groups are:

(Z)Zonal Pelargoniums (x hortorum)--most the ones grown primarily for flowers, upright, long bloom, some with unique traits are grouped into strains:

Cactus-flowered--furled or quilled petals

Irenes--American, large flowerheads

Stellars--Australian, small plants, star-shaped leaves

Startels--similar to Stellars, pointed petals

Miniature--under 6" tall

Dwarf--6-8" tall

Rosebud--petals tight together as in rosebuds

Only the more popular zonals in series are listed below.

(F)Foliage Pelargoniums--also called "fancy-leaved", foliage bronze or yellow, black or white

(R)Regal Pelargoniums--(x domesticum) also called "Martha Washington" pelargoniums, mainly from cucullatum, bushy with leaves often five-lobed, toothed and cupped; flowers mainly purple, pink or white and streaked, striped or blotched; mainly early bloom, usually single flowers; Angel Pelargoniums are similar only under 12" tall

(I)Ivy-leaved Pelargoniums--mainly from peltatum, trailing and vine-like brittle stems, ivy-shaped thick leathery leaves, susceptible to overwatering (oedema--water blisters on leaves); mainly purple, pink and white; good for hanging baskets and windowboxes

Cultivars group flowers other
'Alba' Z white compact, from Fischer
'Alpha' F red, single golden leaves, narrow brown zone
Americana series Z 14 colors good heat performance, from Goldsmith
'Amethyst' I lavender  
'Appleblossom Rosebud'  Z white, edged pink rosebud type
'Atlantis '96' Z purple medium size, dark green, from Fischer
'Beauty of Eastbourne' I rosy red early, double
'Bernardo' I light red double
'Black Lace' R dark maroon lacy edged flowers
'Bravo' Z dark pink dark green, medium size, from Fischer
'Breakaway' I red or salmon good in heat
'Butterfly' I lavender semi-double, early
'Cameo' Z deep salmon round heads well above leaves, seed
Cascade series I red, lilac or pink  
'Cornell' I lavender large flowers
Designer series Z 19 colors medium-green leaves, from Ball
'Dolly Varden' F red rose, red and green leaves edged white
'Dr. Livingstone' S -- lemon rose scent, deeply cut leaves
Dynamo series Z 3 colors similar to Elite, seed
Eclipse series Z 5 colors dark green leaves, from Goldsmith
'Eleonor' I magenta, white bicolor   
Elite series Z 6 colors and mix 10-12" tall, early bloom, seed
'Freckles' Z pink, darker center 1991 AAS winner
'Geronimo' Z deep scarlet closely spaced florets, seed
'Grand Slam' R rose red darker markings on flowers
'Happy Thought' F red, single yellow, bronze and green leaves
'Harvard' I deep burgundy semi-double, late
'Hollywood Star' Z rose, white bicolor early, seed
'Kardino' Z purple red vigorous, from Fischer
Minicascade series I pink, mauve or red small leaves, single flowers, compact
'Miss Burdett-Coutts' F vermilion, small green leaves with red splashes
'Mrs. Parker' F pink, semi-double compact, white edged leaves, old
Multibloom series Z 8 colors and mix compact, early, seed
Neon Rose Improved Z vivid rose compact, seed
Nicole series I pink or white semi-double, compact, early
'Orange Appeal' Z orange 1991 Fleuroselect winner, seed
Orbit series Z 17 colors popular, compact, early, zoned, seed
'PAC Evening Glow' Z dark salmon good in heat, from Oglevee
'PAC Fox' Z dark magenta early, good in heat, no zone, from Oglevee
'PAC Kim' Z scarlet early, good in heat, no zone, from Oglevee
'PAC Melody' Z dark pink early, good in heat, no zone, from Oglevee
'PAC North Star' Z white early, good in heat, no zone, from Oglevee
'PAC Pink Expectations'  Z salmon early, good in heat, from Oglevee
'PAC Sassy Dark Red' Z burgundy early, good in heat, no zone, from Oglevee
'PAC Veronica' Z magenta early, good in heat, from Oglevee
'Picasso' Z violet zoned, seed
Pinnacle series Z 5 colors from Dummen
Pinto series Z 10 colors 12-14" tall, multiple flowers, seed
'Pompeii' R black, pink margins compact
'Red Hots' Z scarlet early, good in heat, no zone, from Oglevee
Ringo 2000 series Z 8 colors earlier, better habit than Ringo, seed
'Rigi' I rose pink  
'Roulette' I red, white bicolor semi-double
'Saint Malo' I deep red semi-double, early
'Salmon Queen' I salmon pink  
'Samba' Z dark red early, medium size, from Fischer
'Schoene Helena' Z salmon vigorous, from Fischer
Showcase series Z 7 colors dark green leaves, from Ball
'Skies of Italy' F orange-red, single yellow, bronze and red leaves
'Snow Queen' I white  
'Solo' I dark red semi-double, compact
'Spring Park' R white, pink eye long bloom, very compact, lemony
'Summer Showers' I 5 colors from seed
'Sybil Holmes' I rosy pink double, bushy
'Tango' Z red dark green, from Fischer
'Tavira' I red  
Tornado series I red,white- red veins early, citrus scented leaves, seed
'Vinco' I deep pink semi-double, compact, early
'Yale' I true red  
'Yours Truly' Z scarlet good in heat, from Oglevee

(S)Scented-leaved Pelargoniums--wide range of habits and leaf shapes; leaves usually with scents of citrus, rose, spices, mint, fruits; leaves may be hairy; flowers usually small; hybrids and cultivars of several species
Cultivar species height flowers  leaves
'Apple' odoratissimum 4-6" white, lacy trailing
'Apricot' scabrum 12-16" dark rose deeply cut
'Attar of Roses' -- 10" -- velvety lobed, perfumes
'Chocolate Peppermint' -- 10" -- dark central marks, vigorous
'Cinnamon' limoneum 12" rose pink compact, small 
'Clorinda' -- 12-24" rose pink Martha Washington cross
'Coconut' parviflorum 6-12" -- small leaves, trailing
'Dr. Livingstone' -- 12-24" -- deeply cut, lemon rose scent
'Fair Ellen' quercifolium 12-16" rose dark mid zone, oak-leaved
'Filbert' concolor 8-14" crimson deeply lobed, compact
'Ginger' torento 12-24" lavender rounded
'Gooseberry' grossularioides 8-12" -- mottled yellow, grape scent
'Joy Lucille' -- 12-24" soft pink peppermint-rose, deep lobes
'Lady Plymouth' -- 12-24" -- variegated rose, gray leaves
'Lemon Balm' mellisinum 12-28" -- balm scent, vigorous
'Lemon Crispum' crispum 12-24" -- tiny, crinkled, strong lemony
'Lime' x nervosum 8-12" -- dense, small, crinkled
'Mabel Grey' -- 36" lavender intense lemon verbena scent
'Mint Rose' -- 12-24" -- variegated white, peppermint
'Nutmeg' fragrans 4-6" white, lacy grayish leaves, spicy scent
'Orange' citriodorum 12-24" white to red compact, popular
'Peacock' -- 12-20" -- rose scent, skeleton, whitish
'Peppermint' tomentosum 10" white large, velvety, strong scent
'Pretty Polly' -- 10" pink deep lobes, fresh donut scent
'Prince Rupert' -- 24-30" -- old hybrid, bushy, lemony
'Rober's Lemon Rose' -- 24-30" -- lobed, lemon and rose
'Roger's Delight' -- 18" salmon lemon scent
'Snowflake Rose' -- 10" -- rose scent, white mottled
'Spanish Lavender' cucullatum 24-30" lavender velvety, woodsy scent
'Strawberry' -- 12-24" -- popular Victorian hybrid
'Sweet Miriam' -- 12-24" bright pink rose scent, glove-shaped

©Authored by Dr. Leonard Perry, Professor, University of Vermont as part of PSS123 course.

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