Re: [IGSROBIN] Angels & Pansy Face Pelargoniums
I just love it when someone finally asks a question I know something about!
When you hear a reference to "the pansy face geranium", they are almost
always referring to 'Madame Layal'. Exact details and dates aren't known,
but the plant is believed to have originated in France in the 1870s. Plant
habit is upright and compact, with mid size medium green leaves. Flowers
have dark violet/purple uppers which lighten to rose as you get away from the
center of the petals and a narrow white border on the edges. Lower petals of
white with an irregular band of violet/rose markings. It gives the
impression of a white throat, then the irregular band, and then a wider
irregular white edge on the lower petals. The flower is quite round, as are
the individual petals, which overlap slightly. Stems are heavier than many
of the other angels.
In her 1999 catalog, Faye Brawner says that 'Madame Layal' and those plants
derived from her, tend to be larger, with the heavy stems, and should
properly be termed small flowering regals. That these are the pansy face
pelargoniums, and the others are angels.
Personally, I place those varieties with the rounded blooms with rounded
overlapping petals into the pansy face category. I have found that the great
majority of them do have the upright habit and heavier wooded stems, but with
the poor record keeping, it's impossible to say with much accuracy whether or
not a specific plant has 'Madame Layal' in its ancestry.
I would say that angels and pansy face pelargoniums started out as separate
and distinct, but have been crossed back and forth so many times that they
are starting to blend and the offspring carries recessive traits for both
sides that will pop out unexpectedly in the future generations. "Angels"
covers the entire lot while "pansy face" refers to a subset contained within
PS You're going to have to watch out -- don't polar bears just love yogurt?