Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Spring in Adelaide means Pelargoniums

Pelargoniums in our Garden Early Morning after the Rain.

One of the early markers of Spring in Adelaide is the sudden arrival of Pelargonium blooms. They are everywhere, gardens, parks and roadsides in a variety of colours and forms. We have them in our garden.

Pelargoniums are cousins of the Geranium and are very robust, particularly given our hot and dry climate. All or ours were grown from branches that I snapped off established plants. We have a wide variety, but I like the lilac and pink ones. They even have some scented varieties, which you just have to walk past to smell.

Some background from Wikipedia.

The first species of Pelargonium known to be cultivated was Pelargonium triste, a native of South Africa. It was probably brought to the botanical garden in Leiden before 1600 on ships which stopped at the Cape of Good Hope. In 1631, the English gardener John Tradescant the elder bought seeds from Rene Morin in Paris and introduced the plant to England. The name Pelargonium was introduced by Johannes Burman in 1738, from Greek πελαργός pelargos = "stork", because part of the flower looked like a stork's beak.

Other than grown for their beauty, species of Pelargonium such as P. graveolens are important in the perfume industry and are cultivated and distilled for its scent. Although scented Pelargonium exist which have smells of citrus, mint, or various fruits, the varieties with rose scents are most commercially important. Pelargonium distillates and absolutes, commonly known as "scented geranium oil" are sometimes used to supplement or adulterate expensive rose oils.

That said, they are lovely for the short time that they flower.

Cross Posted at Adelaide Green Porridge Cafe


jmb said...

Now you have made me very jealous. I love these splashy things.

All or ours were grown from branches that I snapped off established plants.

We pay a fortune for them and grow them in pots, then toss them at the end of the season. Sadly I don't have a green house to overwinter them.

lady macleod said...

Just beautiful!

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Thanks for this lovely post, CC. The pictures have made my day!


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