Friday 22 April 2011

Madame Salleron - buyer beware

With Easter upon us and a very fine weekend forecast, this is traditionally a very busy time at Garden Centres.    Here in the UK they won't be open on Easter Sunday, but Good Friday, Easter Saturday and Easter Monday they will be and all will have their summer bedding plants prominently displayed.

It is, therefore, a good time to write about the pelargonium 'Madame Salleron', sometimes named as 'Madame Salleroi'.  

Madame Salleron
'Madame Salleron' has small silver bi-coloured leaves growing densely on a dwarf zonal type plant.
It does not flower!  This pelargonium was introduced in 1877 and was used by the Victorians as an edging plant to their formal bedding displays, to which it is ideally suited.

Should your 'Madame Salleron' produce a dark salmon coloured single flower, then it has sported to 'Litlte Trot'.  As you will see from the photo below, the leaves have a similar dense growth habit.

Little Trot
For the past four years or so, Garden Centres have been offering for sale a silver bi-coloured pelargonium  named Madame Salleron.  The plant has a single bright bright rose pink flower and should correctly be named 'Petals'.   'Petals' is a short jointed dwarf pelargonium introduced in the U.K. by Clifton in 1972.

Quite why the big growers have decided the change the name of this charming plant, no one knows.   Probably because 'Madam Salleron' is a more commercial name than 'Petals'.

It you look carefully at the photo's you will note that 'Madame Sallaron' has a wider uneven white margin.  In fact, some leaves can be almost white with very little green.

You may remember the French babies - the seedlings that cousin Sue found in her pots of pelargoniums last October when we tidied them up for the winter.  She brought them home and potted them up and my last photo of them in February showed some very health looking seedlings.   As Sue was to be away for about four weeks I was asked to take charge of them.  With the fine weather we have been having these baby seedlings have grown into fine 'children' and when Sue took them home last week she potted them up into their own pots.


  1. Ładna, do skrzynki na balkon by mi się podobała. Ma ładne liście. Pozdrawiam

  2. Poor little seedlings...give them 24 hour grow lights!

  3. The seedlings are doing very well - they had been in my conservatory for four weeks with plenty of daylight.

  4. Interesting data about 'Madame Salleron'. I will rename my plants to "Petals".

  5. Interesting to read your post. Back in 2014 when staying in the UK I bought a plant named 'Madame Salleron' at Hyde Hall in Essex which is a RHS garden. It was in their 'reduced' bin and very much in need of some TLC. I got it back to health and left it with my friend with whom I was staying and he has successfully reared many cuttings since then. I am really surprised that RHS establishment should get the name wrong.

    1. RHS Gardens Wisley had the same plant. When I pointed out the error in name - they did take them off the sales benches.

  6. I have a large pelargonium with bright pink flowers, white is not even or small around margins. Doesn't fit any of the above. Can send a pic if you like.


I would love to hear your comments about my "ramblings".