About Scented Geraniums

 Scented Geraniums are.....
Living Natural Fragrance for Homes and Gardens

Which is the correct name?
Scented Geranium or Scented Leaf Pelargonium
Answer:  Scented Leaf Pelargonium

The debate will no doubt continue for many decades regarding the correct naming of certain plants but, in our humble opinion, is it really that important as the 'Purists' would want us to believe?  We know from the many emails that we receive that the vast majority of people do and always will refer to the Scented Leaf Pelargonium group as Scented Geraniums.  Nothing will ever change this and can you blame so many folk for wanting to stick with a name that is easy to pronounce, remember and spell.

We are not plant 'Purists' and this is why we decided to name our website, www.scentedgeraniums.co.uk.  This was an intentional act on our part as we have always had the aim to bring this beautiful group of plants to as many people's attention as is possible.  The Internet makes this possible.  When we monitor our web statistics the majority of folk use the search words 'scented geranium' and very few use scented pelargonium; hardly anyone ever uses scented leaf pelargonium. 

In an attempt to keep everyone happy we interchange the usage of Scented Geranium/Scented Leaf Pelargonium; as well as using SLP's  (it's quicker to type!) and we also use the American term of 'Scented'.

Which ever name you feel the happiest with using the one thing that we know for sure is that there is absolutely nothing that will change the sheer beauty and versatility of this delightful group of perfumed and aromatic plants.  We hope that you come to admire and enjoy SLP's and the scented Species as much as we do.

Annie & Guy

Scented Geraniums
Unlike the other differing groups of Pelargoniums the Scented Leaf Pelargonium's secret and beauty is contained in the leaves which emit an enticing fragrance ranging from lemon rose, mint, fruit, nuts and many other combinations.  Many of the scents/aromas are decidely pleasant and others have a pungent aroma.  The size and the shape of the plants, leaves and the flowers vary enormously and there isn't a conformity of type.  The flowers are often describes as being insignificant but we wouldn't agree with this statement as often the tinier flowers enhance a larger leaf.  Each and every single type is unique and displays its own characteristics and it is this that makes the Scented Leaf group so fascinating.
You will come to understand what we mean when you read the individual plant descriptions in our Catalogue.  Listing is in an alphabetical format so please do scroll down the page.

Scented Geraniums are classified as Herbs
Brush by or crush a leaf and the aromatic oils are released and fill the air with sweet fragrance bringing about a sense of calm, joy and relaxation.
All SLP's are classified as herbs and many of the leaves may be used in recipes, herbal and cosmetic preparations, as a sensory aid, or simply as a beautiful plant to be admired.  Excellent in containers and hanging baskets or planted directly in the garden during frost free months, or simply enjoyed in the home all year round.

See Recipes & Uses

History and interesting FAQ's
Early History
First known recorded pelargonium in cultivation was in, Herbal : Gerarde : 1663.  Tradescant had flowered ' Geranium indicum nocte odoratum' in 1662 and by 1668 the plant was catalogued at the Botanic Garden at the University of Leyden.  It wasn't until the latter part of the 17th Century that collections of living plants were sent back to Holland and by 1668 only 1821 Species were listed as being grown at the Botanic Gardens.  This included only one Pelargonium Species.  By 1686 the number had risen to ten pelargoniums and from that time forward their place within European gardens were guaranteed.
By 1724 a further eight new Species had been recorded at the Chelsea Physic Garden and amongst these were Odoratissmum the apple scented and Vitifolium which has a balm scent.  However, who is attributed to having brought these to England and when is unknown as their introduction to the UK was never recorded.
Natural Habitat
Scented Leaf Pelargoniums are members of the Geraniaceae family; i.e. geranium, erodium and pelargonium.  The latter group is mostly native to South Africa although a few species occur naturally in Australia, Eastern Africa, New Zealand, the Middle East, the Islands of Madagascar, St Helena and Tristan de Cuhna.  Scenteds should not be confused with the perennial geranium genus, which are hardy plants found in North America and Europe.
Pelargonium Genus
Includes annuals and herbaceous perennials, shrubs and sub-shrubs, evergreen and deciduous plants.  Most Scenteds are succulent perennial sub-shrubs in their natural habitat.
Growing Habits
Vary enormously.  Ranging from upright and erect, semi-trailing and branching to low growing ground cover. 
Scent Classification
Generally there are 5 categories, which are citrus, fruit and nut, mint, rose, pungent.  Interestingly, scents are subjective and what one person might smell another would smell something completely different.

Pelargonium Books + the Internet for further Information

If you are interested in knowing more about Pelargoniums we would suggest that you invest in a few books.  There are not many Scented Leaf Pelargonium books around and the ones that there are we haven't been very impressed by, i.e. over priced for the information that they contain.  Instead, buy general Pelargonium books and there's often a chapter in there somewhere relating to the SLP's.  One of my favourite Pelargonium author's is Jum Wood and I bought a few of his books from Amazon for as little as £2 for a good condition used copy.

There is a lot more information coming online recently (2010) although this does tend to be scattered around and isn't always accurate.  Yes, by all means 'surf the net, but I would still recommend that you back this knowledge up with some good old fashioned books.