[IGS] Night Scented Pelargoniums

Dear Esther:

I have been doing Hardy geranium stuff this week, but I wanted to reply
to your inquiry.  Night Scented Pelargoniums are a group of pelargoniums
from Southern Africa belonging to a subsection of the genus called
Polyactium.  They have subterranean tubers, leaves that are finely
dissected or with large soft lobes, and they have inflorescenses that
have many small flowers, which open about the same time.  The flowers
are variable in color.  Some are a greenish-yellow with a thin maroon
stripe down the center of the petal, others have more maroon.  One is
quite greenish, one is wine red, and a couple have petals that are
different colors.  They are fragrant from sunset to a couple of hours
after sunrise.  But there is no scent during the day.  The scent is
difficult to describe, a bit like vanilla, maybe.

Some bloom in the winter, and some bloom in the summer, depending
whether they come from a summer or winter rainfall area in their
homeland.  They need to rest, and to be allowed to go dormant when they
are not in active growth.  There are over 20 different species.  The
best source books for learning about them are Pelargoniums of Southern
Africa, by J.J.A. van der Walt and P. J. Vorster in three volumes,
Vol.1, 1977, Vol.2, 1981, and Vol.3, l988.  Used horticultural
bookstores can sometimes find copies.  They are fascinating plants.  We
grow 12 different ones, and would really like to find others.  Ours
include Pelargonium bowkeri, P. caffrum, P. fumariifolium, P. gibbosum,
P. x glaucifolium,  P. lobatum, P. pulverulentum, P. radulifolium, P.
rutaceum, P. schizopelalum, P. triste and P. woodii.

If there is something else I can answer about them, I would be happy to,
or perhaps someone else is growing them and would like to tell about it.

Geraniaceae Nursery

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