Sunday 31 May 2015


 "P. papilionaceum " 

 "P. papilionaceum"  is part of the display in the RHS Wisley Glasshouse until 6th June.   Apart from the pretty pink flowers from which the plant gets its name, this plant can grow to over 6 ½ ft.   It was not quite as high as this in the glasshouse; probably about 2ft growing in a large pot and could easily be missed growing in amongst other large pelargonium species.   The very large leaves tended to dominate this plant.  An erect strong growing shrubby plant,  "P. papilionaceum"  (also known as Butterfly pelargonium “Rambossie”) has a a strong scent,  said to be unpleasant and  like that of a he-goat , but I did not think it too bad.   There are reports of the leaves being used as a tobacco substitute.  "P. papilionaceum"  can be found in the wild in the South Western, South and Eastern Cape of South Africa.  It grows in the margins of forests in half-shady damp places.  It arrived in Britain in 1742 and was grown in the Chelsea Physic Garden.   

Leaves of "P. papilionaceum"

Friday 22 May 2015

Scented Pelargonium - "Sweet Mimosa" - and RHS Wisley display of pelargoniums

A sweetly aromatic fragranced pelargonium with medium sized delicately pale pink flowers and darker feathering on the top two petals.  This was introduced in America in the late 1970's to early 1980's.   An easy plant to grow.

I spent last Sunday in the Glasshouse at RHS Wisley Gardens promoting The Pelargonium & Geranium Society.   The glasshouse staff put on a splendid display of Pelargoniums each year.

Monday 11 May 2015


Zonal Pelargonium "Josephine"
There are five pelargoniums named 'Josephine' listed in the register.   Four of them are Zonals and one is a Regal.   This 'Josphine' however, is a basic zonal and was introduced in 1982 by Faye Brawner, author of "Geraniums - The complete Encyclopedia".   The flowers are single and a soft orange colour with a white centre.

The Farnborough Club Cuttings are growing fast (sorry - no picture this week), and have plenty of flower buds.

The International Register of Pelargonium Cultivars is now 'live':
The Register is free to use.  You will have to sign in with an email address and a password, but only once.   It is a very powerful website and new plants, and photographs will continue to be added.

Friday 1 May 2015


"Ivory Snow" is a new plant to me.  I got it at the end of last year as a small rooted cutting.   I was attracted to the lime green leaves with a darker centre.   However, I was surprised to notice a couple of weeks ago that my plant has developed leaves with a darker grey/green centre and wide creamy white edges.   I am not sure if this is the way the plant grows.  It will be interesting to see when I take cuttings.  

"Ivory Snow" was introduced in the USA by Shady Hill Nursery in 1979.  It is a variegated sport of a plant called "Snow Mass".  As the name implies, the flowers are pure white and semi-double.   It is said to be "slow and difficult".

My plant has not yet flowered, and my photograph was taken at Fibrex Nurseries.  The flowers are pure white, and I think the slight pink tinge in my photograph is a reflection in my camera lens from the red flowering plant behind it.

Club Cuttings Update

My Farnborough Club cuttings are growing very fast.  They are now in 5" pots.  It is interesting to note that, at the present time one is fairly short jointed, making a pleasing compact plant.  The other has longer joints and is looking a tad straggly.  Both are growing side by side in the conservatory and turned frequently. Flower buds are beginning to appear.