James H. Schutte
PELARGONIUM( BLACK VELVET SERIES)
Plant Common Name
Black Velvet Geraniums, Zonal Geranium
This entry has yet to be reviewed and approved by L2G editors.
There are so many wonderful pelargoniums – thousands of hybrids and more than 200 distinct species. Most are heavily fragrant and offer showy flowers and foliage, so it is no wonder these tender perennials, or subshrubs, are some of the most widely cultivated and popular container and bedding plants.
Most Pelargonium species originate from arid or montane regions in southern Africa. Their fragrant, somewhat fleshy evergreen leaves are typically palm-shaped and deeply lobed or dissected. Many cultivars have variegated leaves with striking bands of two to three different colors, such as green, white, yellow, purple, red or orange. The flowers are five-petaled, often showy and borne in terminal clusters. Flower color is variable, depending on the species or cultivar, and includes red, white, pink, orange, purple or salmon shades.
Vigorous and easy to grow, pelargoniums prefer full to partial sun and average to fertile soil that drains well. Most hybrids are everblooming and require regular deadheading for best appearance and flower production. They can be planted in mixed beds and borders, containers or hanging baskets. Hardiness is species and cultivar dependent.
Pelargoniums fall into sixteen separate classes that are sometimes combined to describe cultivars. For example, the popular cultivar Pelargonium ‘Pixie Rose’ is a Stellar Zonal Geranium (St, Z) and Pelargonium ‘Timothy Clifford’ is a Miniature Zonal Geranium (Min, Z). The sixteen Pelargonium classes are:
(C) Coloured foliage
(Dwl) Dwarf Ivy-leaved
(MinI) Miniature Ivy-leaved