Wednesday 15 September 2010

Unique Unique

Uniques belong to a very old section of the pelargonium family.  Sweet listed over 60 in the first volume of his Geraniaceae books in 1820. They were known then as 'Hybrid Bedding Pelargoniums' and the R.H.S. trialled them at their Chiswick Gardens.  Unfortunately the trials were not a success because of the wet summer that year and the flowers did not open.  The trials were repeated the following year, but the plants proved to be useless for bedding.   At this time the name of the plants was changed to 'Uniques'   There are far fewer Uniques available today.  The ancestor of the Uniques is thought to be Pelargonium fulgidum.

I don't have any of the Uniques in my collection, having lost White Unique in the damp winter we had last year.  However, I spotted Rollinson's Unique at Wisley when I was there last month.  

Rollinson's Unique
Introduced by the old London nursery of Rollinson's of Tooting prior to 1880, Rollinson's Unique is a well branched, medium tall vigorous grower.  The leaves have a spicy scent, and the flowers are a rich magenta colour with typical veined markings on the top two petals.  It looked very attractive in a large mixed planter outside the new glasshouse at Wisley and did not seem any the worse for being outside all summer.   It has been drier this year.

We were out this morning, and I worked on PAGS business this afternoon with just a short time left before the sun went down to take a few more cuttings. 


  1. Hello, I'm doing a bit of reading on the Uniques as part of a small summer project. Do you know where I might find a definitive list of Uniques? You mentioned there being 60 listed originally but I am presuming lots of them no longer survive? I am trying to work out if it would be worth while having a complete collection, also if such a thing exists all ready and if it is even possible since there seems to be quite a lot of mystery over the origins and naming of lots of the Uniques..
    Any information you have would be greatly appreciated!


    1. Hello Lucie. I've only just read your comment on my item on the Uniques. Sorry!
      I've just had a count up on my list of Uniques held at the National Collection and see there are 32, with a query on 1. If you want more information then you can contact them at Fibrex Nurseries, Honeybourne Road, Pebworth, Nr. Stratford upon Avon, Warwickshire, CV37 8XP Tel: 01789 720788. E-mail: Website@
      The National collection is free to visit and well worth it.


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