What’s in a name?

Garden Answers (UK) - - Problems Solved - PAUL WASSELL, STEVE­NAGE, HERT­FORD­SHIRE

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.

Hardy gera­nium

Pe­largo­nium

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