Pelargonium Collection

We have a collection of species and cultivars from the Geraniaceae family. This family includes the popular Geraniums and Pelargoniums familiar to gardeners.

The Florence E Clarke Geranium Conservatory has begun a change of display! You will notice we have changed the plants on display,  from the Regal Pelargoniums to plants that are a little different.

We recognise that the collection has been overlooked and we are actively reviewing our care procedures to ensure our plants receive the attention they deserve.

We are actively reviewing our Collection Management Procedures to ensure our plants receive the attention they deserve.

In the interim, our Horticulturists are keen to display weird and wonderful plants and we encourage our visitors to explore a different feel to our Pelargonium Conservatory.

Example of a Regal Pelargonium cultivar in flower

The geranium family

The geranium family was first recorded in 1576 in southern Europe. Hybrid plants began appearing within the first 50 years of discovery. These plants are still popular today as they are easy to grow.

Sir Joseph Banks on his 1770 voyage with Captain Cook discovered the first Pelargonium in Australia at Botany Bay. He named it Pelargonium australe. Since its discovery many other species of Pelargonium and Geranium have been found in Australia.

Plants related to the Geraniaceae family can be found growing naturally through north Africa, Europe, the Middle East, the Himalayas and various islands scattered through the Atlantic ocean. Most can be found growing in South Africa.

The Geranium family consists of five distinct Genera. Geranium, Pelargonium, Sarcocaulon, Monsonia and Erodium. All of theses genera are held with in our collection.

The cultivars can be separated into four main groups:

1. Regal Pelargonium

Regals have a very impressive floral display. The flowers are large and richly coloured ranging from pale pinks, reds to darkest purple. They prefer a cooler, wetter climate to other Pelargoniums and flower from September to January.

Example of a Regal Pelargonium cultivar in flower

2. Zonal

Zonal Pelargoniums are often called 'geraniums' and have medium round shaped flowers that bloom through out the year. The colours range from white, to pinks and vivid reds. They are the red geraniums that are often seen in window box planters. Some are also grown for their ornamental foliage.

Example of a Zonal Pelargonium cultivar in flower

3. Ivy Leafed

Pelargoniums are generally climbing plants that have distinctive ivy like leaves. The flowers range in colour from whites to pinks, reds and purples.

The Ivy Leafed Pelargonium in flower

4. Scented

Pelargonium are grown for their scented foliage. Scents include lemon, peppermint, and cinnamon. The leaves can be used as herbs to flavour teas and come in a range of sizes and colours. The flowers are insignificant and range from whites, pinks and purples. These plants will tolerate dry periods better then any other cultivar.

Scented Pelargonium

Page last updated: Thursday, 26 October 2023