A greater percentage of native Pelargonium species
Are found in South Africa
Which grow in temperate and tropical areas, mainly in the South West corner of South Africa, a region which has some rainfall during the winter months.
They are part of the Geraniaceae family which includes the genera geranium, pelargonium and erodium containing about 830 species.
Approximately 20 Pelargoniums grow in East Africa and about 12 species grow in other areas of the world including Australia, New Zealand, Tasmania, Madagascar, Turkey, St Helena, Tristan da Cunha, Socotra, Yeman, Iraq & Turkey.
Australia’s pelargonium species include P. Littorale, a perennial herb which has pink flowers found in coastal areas and also P. Drummondii & P. Australe.
P. Inodorum is native to New Zealand and Australia, it has pale pink flowers which grow in woodland and forests.
The two tropical Islands St Helena and Tristan da Cunha in the South Atlantic Ocean also have Pelargonium species such as :
P. cotyledons is native to St Helena, a white-flowered succulent, its local name is “ Old father live forever”
P. grossularioides is an aromatic herb with coconut-scented leaves found in Tristan da Cunha and South Africa ( a few have also been found in India, Australia and also Syria). It has light pink to purple flowers and gooseberry colour stems.
P. acugnaticum- similar to P. grossularioides with ovate leaves and pink-purple flowers native to Tristan da Cunha.
P. endlicherianum has large pink/purple flowers and grows in mountainous regions in South West Turkey, some have also been found in Syria and Iran.
P. quercetorum are very tall plants with large pink flowers which grow in Turkey and Iran.
P. Cayae is a native to South East Madagascar and has large heart-shaped leaves and pink flowers.
P. Multibracteatum is native to Africa and the middle east with long ovate leaves and white flowers which grows in rocky areas or mountainsides
The Pelargonium species comprises over 200 or more perennials, succulents and shrubs.
The Pelargonium species are unquestionably an enchanting and beautiful species with its graceful flowers and range of fragrant leaves in a variety of shapes that make these plants simply unique. These amazing species native to South Africa are equally as appealing as cultivars, zonal & regals and can look attractive in hanging baskets, pots and window boxes for any garden type. The elegant & graceful flowers can range in tone from brightly coloured shades of red-pink to pastel shades of pale pink-purple & even light green making these plants ideal for adding that extra bit of colour to your patio or balcony.
The Delicate & heavenly aromatic fragrance of Rose, Apple, Peppermint, Fruit, Lemon, Balsam,
Musk & more all have their unique aroma and are a delight to add to any scented garden. The fancy leaf shapes also have their special charm and can resemble that of Oak, Vine, Southernwood, Birch, Dicondra, Gooseberry, Maple & Currant shaped leaves with a range of textures.
These enchanting & beautiful species have been a fascination for explorers, plant collectors and artists since the 1600s when new trade routes began to unfold by the Dutch East India Company & many New species of pelargoniums were being discovered.
The Dutch East India Company (VOC) started in 1602 and was created by 73 directors of Small trading organizations.In 1651 Jan Van Riebeck was given a contract by the Dutch East India Company to set up a station in South Africa for when Dutch ships arrived before their long wayward journey to the East.
P. triste was the first recorded pelargonium to travel to Europe & was taken to the botanical gardens of Leiden by the VOC, this was a tuberous rooted plant which could withstand long voyages by ship.
These lovely plants have become more admired over the centuries because of their delightful flowers and aromatic scented leaves, they have also gained popularity in the production of aromatic oils and medicinal properties. Pelargoniums are generally known as Geraniums but were later classed as two individual groups in 1789 by Charles L Heritier. The word pelargonium is derived from the Greek word “pelargos” meaning stork because the seed head resembles that of a stork. Thousands of cultivated varieties of pelargoniums were selected for their desirable characteristics, originally from a few native species which may still exist in South Africa to this day.
The Scented leaf pelargoniums have a wide range of benefits which include the distillation of essential oil used in skin care, perfumery, cosmetic soap, the food industry, and toiletries, & by medical doctors, aromatherapists, massage for relaxation and to improve blood circulation. They also have a vital role in the sensory garden which can provide children & adults with disabilities to become more absorbed in the textures and fragrance of the leaves, especially for the deaf and blind which can improve their sense of vision, touch, smell and hearing or to interact & become more involved with their surroundings such as nature &wildlife.
Also the growing and caring for scented shrubs, herbs & editable plants also have its advantages, especially when plants are labelled or named in braille and large pathways are available for wheelchair access and small flower beds containing numerous scented plants at arms reach can also help.
We live in a world filled with the beauty of nature: providing us with a wide range of flora, herbs and fragrant leaves for perfume, cosmetics & aromatherapy, as well as plants, trees, vegetables & fruits for food, medicine & clothing, the air we breathe as well as the amazing insects, birds & animals which forms our world.
Growing more trees & plants is beneficial for creating more greenery, especially in urban areas to beautify the surroundings and to encourage bees, butterflies and other insects to the environment.
Trees and plants absorb and remove carbon dioxide from the air during its natural process of photosynthesis, when it absorbs sunlight and replaces it with the air we breathe. So growing more trees and plants is ideal for helping to preserve the environment.
Bees are the major flower pollinator in the natural world and are said to pollinate around 85% of the food that we eat and also to provide us with honey, royal jelly and beeswax. According to a recent study, a flower can hear the sound of a bee buzzing close by and after a few minutes, it begins to produce sweeter nectar sugar to attract the bee and encourage pollination. The flower’s shape is similar to a bowl and can pick up vibrations & sound waves, this is from a new study at Tel Aviv University on an evening primrose flower.
Plants and trees can also communicate with each other by olfaction when they release odours to other plants which contain ethylene and give signals when they become threatened by disease, invading insects or become damaged, other plants recognize these odours and try to defend themselves.
They also communicate through their roots and in a forest environment produce a network of connecting root systems to neighbouring plants known as the mycelia network where they interact and give each other information. Larger trees give aid to the younger trees and also seedlings to encourage growth and help them survive, supplying them with sugar and other nutrients. From a study by Professor Suzanne Simard & Canadian forest researchers using DNA.
Plants and trees are simply an amazing part of our natural world, they have mechanoreceptors in their leaves and stems which is similar to how we feel touch on our skin. Plants know when you touch them, when the wind blows their leaves and when an insect lands on their leaf. From numerous studies on the Venus fly trap and the mimosa pudica plants.
Plants can be a joy to grow especially from seedlings which can give satisfaction to any gardener whether in the garden, balcony or greenhouse. They are precious, a part of life, nature & our environment which are not to be forgotten or undervalued whether you live in the town, city or countryside.
All our flowers are pollinated naturally by bees and other wildlife including honey bees, bumble bees, Mediterranean bees and the hummingbird hawk moth as well as various butterflies.
We are working together with nature & wildlife, all our plants are grown in a natural environment without the use of chemicals or pesticides.
The fertilizer used on the plants is organic and is made from natural sources and all our seeds are picked carefully by hand.
We are situated in a mountainous area of Crete, Greece with the natural beauty of the fauna and flora including wild orchids, wildflowers, lizards, butterflies, many bird species and our most recent visitor a badger.
We aim is to collect a wide range of pelargonium species, scented leaf & succulents.
More info & References
How trees talk to each other in the forest https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7kHZ0a_6TxY
Book-What a plant knows by Daniel Chamovitz
How trees talk to each other- suzanne simard https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Un2yBgIAxYs
Butterfly on lavender
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|Scented leaves & its uses|
|Free scented pelargonium poster|
|National gardens Athens|
|Terms and conditions|
|Scented Pelargonium species|
|Other plant varieties|
|Pelargonium seed collections|
|Pelargonium graveolens L' He'r|