What’s in a name?
Q Can you explain how geraniums and pelargoniums differ?
A The father of plant nomenclature, Carl Linnaeus, lumped them together but in 1789 botanist Charles L’ Heritier split them into the two genera we use today. Geraniums are hardy and herbaceous with five, equally sized petals to the flowers (see p22), which never include true red. Pelargoniums are mostly shrubby, tender and the flowers have two upper petals and three lower ones that are often differently sized and coloured. They include many colours but never blue.