The Boar and his relative; mysterious but not boring
'The Boar' is a jolly useful pelargonium - I like to grow it as a companion plant in mixed garden planters in the summer. It grows quite robustly over the edges with plenty of salmon pink single flowers and attractive leaves with a black central blotch. Said to have come originally to Kew from Tresco on the Isles of Scilly in 1920, 'The Boar' is a bit of a mystery. It has been said to be a P. frutetorum species hybrid, and in fact my photo shows the plant growing at Fibrex Nursery as a species hybrid. However, the plant apparently does grow 'true' from seed, although initially the seedlings do not have the black centre to their leaves, but have a zone similar to P. frutetorum. In the past there has also been confusion over its name. In 1956 the plant received an Award of Merit at a Royal Horticultural Society show under the name 'Salmonia', which led growers to assume it was P. salmoneum which it is not. The late Mr Derek Clifford reported to the R.H.S. Floral committee in 1956 that 'The Boar' was widely known in the U.S.A. as 'Dark Beauty'. Mystery or not, I will be growing this again in my tubs next summer, together with a new acquisition 'White Boar' , a seedling of 'The Boar' with a similar growth habit.
Information from 'Fancy-leaved Pelargoniums - Peter Grieve and after' by Mary E Campbell and others