floral friday: geranium

common name: geranium
scientific name: Pelargonium hortorum

floral friday geranium

The common name 'geranium' is shared between hardy geraniums, a lesser known perennial plant, and pelargoniums, the more popular showy annual, pictured above. While red is the most common color, geraniums come in white, pink, and coral, plus there are plenty of other varieties that span from royal purple to pale pink with fuchsia stripes.

Unlike most plants, the leaves of the geranium plant are its fragrant feature. When cut or even slightly brushed, geraniums give off a distinct fresh scent, which is how I often identify these plants. Some rarer varieties' leaves have a pungent scent of chocolate mint, apple, or even citronella.

The red pigment of this variety's petals is so rich that it looks almost exactly the same when the petals are dry after pressing--that's not the case with the white, pink, or coral colored petals. You can even use the petals to 'paint'--it rubs off easily on paper and is a great, fun exploratory activity to do with kids!