Again this year we are offering a large collection of pelargonium species from Southern Africa. Please note that many of the items listed are either summer or winter dormant. Communicate directly with Geraniaceae (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you need further information.
Some of the following items were propagated from seed, or propagated vegetatively from plants grown from seed, from collections made in South Africa by the late Michael Vassar (MV), Southern California. Some of his collections were virtually identical and we are not propagating many of the previous offerings listed in previous catalogs. Some other plants were obtained from collectors or nurseries without collection numbers or without site data. There are also some hybrids included. A number of the following species are night-scented pelargoniums.
Angel and Pansy-Face (155 plants)
Although the original pansy-face and angel pelargoniums date from the late 19th century and early to mid twentieth century respectively, many beautiful hybrids have been introduced over the last 15 years.
The following list includes plants from Europe, Great Britain, the U.S, Canada and Australia. We are particularly indebted to Jay Kapac, a pelargonium breeder from Southern California. He continues to produce exceptional plants in a range of unusual leaf shapes and flower colors. These include Pelargonium 'Arcturus, 'Bernice Ladroot', P. 'Maria Garcia' , 'Romona Camulos', P. 'Shannon', P. 'Shanti' and others. Culture in all cases is similar to the pansy-face and angels.
Plants grow to around 15-24" in height, flower from mid spring to fall in climates with cool nights, and are very well suited to pots and window boxes. Protection from hot summer sun in areas with high summer temperatures may be necessary. Note that the amount of light received by plants makes a big difference to plant size. Light bright conditions will make more compact and floriferous plants. Deadheading is necessary to prolong flowering, and light pruning may be done at the same time. But the shrubs basically remain compact under the right conditions. They need to be protected against temperatures in the 30's F., and below, and excessive winter rain when they are not in active growth.
Fancy Leaf (11 plants)
The brilliantly colored leaves of these zonal pelargoniums provided "bedding-out" color in 19th public gardens and have been the delight of collectors ever since. There are some quite old varieties still in existence but it has been a cause for concern that only a very few are still sold in nurseries. We would like individuals and garden clubs to grow these beautiful plants so we might preserve them through this century.
Ivies (132 plants)
Ivy pelargoniums get their name from the resemblance of their leaves to Hedera species, (the garden ivies). Their parents, or at least one of them, Pelargonium peltatum, gives them shield shaped leaves and a trailing form. But they have also been crossed with the P. x hortorum group, the zonal pelargoniums, and that has increased their color range and changed their form. Ivies are very useful in hanging baskets, for draping over walls, or as a ground cover. The Balcon "geraniums", correctly pelargoniums, are an allied group whose use in window boxes is noted by every traveller to Europe.
Regal Pelargoniums (122 plants)
REGALS/MARTHA WASHINGTON PELARGONIUMS
We are thoroughly alarmed at the disappearance of many old and beautiful selections of Regals/Martha Washington Pelargoniums from nurseries on the West Coast. Fortunately The International Regal Preservation Project www.geraniumsonline.com/regalproject1.htm in San Diego, CA is working to save representative samples of as many Regals as they can find. Please contact them if you have Regals you want identified (try sending photos first, then plants if required).
The parentage of Regals (Pelargonium x domesticum) is rather murky but most plants have coarse sawtooth edged dark green leaves, although there are a few variegated leafed plants. As you probably know, Regals can grow as big as a bus, particularly in California. But you donít have to be dominated by your plant. Judicious pruning can turn a monster into a well behaved and beautiful container plant. The flowers are large and dramatic and come in many colors with the exception of yellow and blue and are decorated with blotches, stripes and veins in contrasting colors. Plants usually stop flowering when the nighttime temperatures rise, but flowering can be greatly extended by pruning and fertilizing.
Where possible we have used The Pelargonium International Register and Checklist of Pelargonium Cultivars, published by the British and European Geranium Society, 2008 as a standardized guide to the names and color descriptions of the flowers. No source is listed where the provenance is unknown. Finding correct labels for these plants produces exquisite frustration. Comunicate with The Regal Preservation Project or Geraniaceae if your similar plant has a different name.
Scented-Leaf (141 plants)
These plants have been sentimental favorites for several hundred years. Over 140 varieties of scented leaf pelargoniums are available. The range of detectable scents is remarkable, and includes rose, lime, ginger, peach, lemon, peppermint, nutmeg, oak, strawberry, balsam, apricot, coconut, apple, and many others. Although many scented leaf pelargoniums grow to a large size in the ground, their size can be controlled by keeping them in pots, and by pruning the tips during the growing season. Most are frost tender, and need to be protected during the winter from temperatures in the low 30's (F) and below, and from excessive moisture when they are not in growth. Cuttings root easily in potting soil, and new cuttings can be made for the following year. Plants should be placed where they can be easily touched. Leaves can be utilized in potpourri, cooking, and for toiletries. This list also included a few pelargoniums in the Unique category. It is for the convenience of the nursery rather than for their affinity with the scented leaf pelargoniums.
Sentimental Favorites (16 plants)
Sentimental Favorites is a catch-all designation for plants that we all enjoy but fit into a number of different categories. The nursery has at least two tulip flowered pelargoniums, some birds egg, and some Stellas, but not enough to put in separate categories. If you are looking for something particular please contact us, as we may well have it.
Species and Primary Hybrids (146 plants)
The night-scented pelargonium species are mostly tuberous rooted, and are winter growing/summer dormant, as are a number of other pelargonium species on the list. They should therefore, be grown in all but the mildest areas of the U.S. with winter shelter, usually in a conservatory or greenhouse. They generally bloom in February March and April and will then cease active growth. Leaves will turn yellow and water should withheld. You may place the dry plant and pot in a dark, cool, dry place while you enjoy the summer. In September, or before, if the leaves start to appear, water sparingly until the plant commences full growth. Summer growing plants, which are noted in the list, should be allowed to go dormant for three to four months over the winter, and then be watered lightly for the rest of the year. These pelargoniums grow best in large (8-10") pots in a fast-draining but nutritious potting mix with perlite mixed in. Why bother to grow them if they require so much attention? Because the flowers are highly unusual and some are delightfully scented. Many occur in attractive colors including brilliant green, pale yellow combined with dark bluish-maroon, brilliant red, wine red and in several cases a pink and green mix. As night comes on, the night scented group release a heady fragrance of vanilla/cloves/indefinable into the air that lasts until daylight the following morning.
Uniques (12 plants)
This is a catch-all group of plants, some of which date back to the 1860s in the UK and others of which have been recently hybridized by Jay Kapac in Southern California. They are generally strong growers. The flowers can be small, but the plants are very floriferous. Not all in this group appear to be related to each other.