Recently my friend Colette wrote a whimsical article entitled “The Uncommon Geranium.” Surprisingly she included a picture of the very common geranium also known as pelargonium. At the end of her article she explained this, “So, what makes an uncommon geranium? Well, they are uncommonly easy to propagate, they are uncommonly colorful through most of the year, they are uncommonly easy to care for and they are uncommonly reminiscent of a bygone era.”
She cleverly got her point across to her readers and it made me think about the geraniums I have collected through the years from friends. Another garden club member, Dale, introduced me to the stellar geraniums (Pelargonium x hortorum). These plants, like their fancy leaf cousins, belong to the zonal group and often have colorful foliage with maroon or bronze markings. They are smaller, bushy plants that are beloved for their airy, shredded petals rising just above their pointed leaves.
The definition for stellar means: “star-like” or “star performer” like in excellence. The stellar geraniums are both. Their leaves and flowers are shaped as stars and their performance is beyond reproach.
There is a new introduction of the stellar geraniums introduced from Great Britain known as the Quantum Series. These plants are ideal in containers. They can tolerate increased temperatures even more so than other geraniums without being subject to scorching. They are quite happy performing on a hot and sunny patio.
Their broad heads are packed with starry flowers in a rich dark scarlet, pale rose pink or salmon. These flowers are also longer lasting than most of the other stellars. Please understand that these are not your grandmother’s geraniums, but somehow I know that she would love them as I do.
The Red Bluff Garden Club is affiliated with the Cascade District Garden Club; California Garden Clubs, Inc; Pacific Region Garden Clubs and Natural Garden Clubs Inc.