A SouthWest Oasis

October 8, 2006

The Origin of the Geranium

Filed under: Geranium — lttlman5 @ 2:44 am

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 Before GTS, Geraniums were not one of my favorite plants. They are, I found very hardy to hot weather. And after reading more about their origin, the Geranium has kind of grown on me! Especially when I also found out there are Chocolate scented Geraniums. I’ll have to find one of these plants!

The Geranium as it is commonly known, is actually of the genus Pelargonium. Geranium is the correct botanical name of the separate genus that contains the related Cranesbills. Both genera are in the Family Geraniaceae. Which originally included all the species in one genus, Geranium, but they were later separated into two genera by Charles L’Héritier in 1789. The first species of Pelargonium known to be cultivated was Pelargonium triste, a native of South Africa.The cranesbills make up the genus Geranium of 422 species of annual, biennial, and perennial plants found throughout the temperate regions of the world and the mountains of the tropics, but mostly in the eastern part of the Mediterranean. One can make the distinction between the two by looking at the flowers : Geranium has symmetrical flowers, while Pelargonium has irregular or maculate petals. The name “cranesbill” derives from the appearance of the seed-heads, which have the same shape as the bill of a Crane. The genus name is derived from the Greek word geranos, meaning ‘crane’.

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15 Comments »

  1. Geraniums are not my favourite plant, although the flowers can be so wonderful in a vase or in a little posie. Thanks for the history lesson.

    Comment by John - Melbourne — October 8, 2006 @ 8:32 am

  2. Ah, yes these are classical plants that’s very popular over here to and have been for ages and ages, as the pelargonium has too.

    Nice colors, matching background on the photo!

    Comment by Mrs Lifecruiser — October 8, 2006 @ 9:46 am

  3. I haven’t had any geraniums in years. I used to plant them every year in an old whiskey barrel in the front yard. I don’t know why I gave up on them…they always bloomed so well!

    Comment by deb — October 8, 2006 @ 12:52 pm

  4. Yep cannot deny Green Thumb Sunday education to spark an interest in a plant!

    Lovely Geranium.

    Comment by Lynn Tucker — October 8, 2006 @ 3:54 pm

  5. Good luck. I have never been able to keep this plant alive. My mother was a pro at growing them but did not share that part of her thumb with me! I do admire them and I like how they fit in the garden. Glad you enjoy them and hope to see how they grow for you!

    Comment by Debbie (Fruitful Spirit) — October 8, 2006 @ 8:39 pm

  6. I have some… they were here when I moved in. I tolerate them because they are there…. But not my favorite either

    Comment by guppyman — October 9, 2006 @ 3:13 am

  7. And i forget where I came from too….

    Comment by guppyman — October 9, 2006 @ 3:13 am

  8. I grow geraniums every year. I plant them in my mixed flower posts and window boxes. they look great with the snapdragons, salia and lobelia. I also grow hardy geranium Johnsons Blue which is very different from the annual variety.

    Nice history lesson too. I’m glad to hear that GTS has sparked interest in different plants. 🙂

    Comment by dragonden — October 9, 2006 @ 8:28 am

  9. Woohoo! This place is gorgeous! And it loaded really quickly (unlike Blogger). Way to go, girl!

    Comment by Pass the Torch — October 9, 2006 @ 4:20 pm

  10. My geraniums are 28 years old today planted when I first moved into my newly built home.
    It provides me striking colourful flowers, backed by beautifully shaped large and small leaves, a dream design for keen flower arranging people like myself. I used the leaves as a decorative pattern and its scent on the bottom of my cake mixture. When the cake is baked, peel away the leave. Voila, the cake has a beautiful leave pattern and smells faintly nice.

    Comment by Fran — June 21, 2013 @ 10:42 pm

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  14. They are a beautiful flower with low maintenance which is good for me.

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