Thursday, 17 December 2015

MEMORIES OF ROSE GERANIUM

“You can close your eyes to reality but not to memories.” - Stanislaw Jerzy Lec

One of the things I remember about the garden in my grandfather’s house is the sweet scent of rose geranium. There were a couple of these beautiful plants growing there and whenever one brushed against them they would release their delightful fragrance in the air and it would linger there for a few seconds. My grandmother used to collect some leaves of this plant when she was making quince jelly or quince preserve and use them to flavour these sweetmeats with an unmistakeable signature aroma – a mixed fruity smell of quince/sweet ripe apples, roses, and a hint of citrus.

We have these plants growing in our garden now and they have joined a special group of “heritage and memory plants”, which all bring to mind some special situations, specific people, delightful reminiscences and distant places…

Rose geranium (Pelargonium graveolens) is an uncommon Pelargonium species native to the Cape Provinces and the Northern Provinces of South Africa, Zimbabwe and Mozambique. Pelargonium comes from the Greek pelargos, which means stork. Another name for pelargoniums is stork’s-bills due to the shape of their fruit. The specific epithet graveolens refers to the strong-smelling leaves.

Pelargonium graveolens is an erect, multi-branched shrub, which grows up to 1.5 m and has a spread of 1 m. The leaves are deeply incised leaves are velvety and soft to the touch (due to glandular hairs). The flowers vary from pale pink to almost white and the plant flowers from August to January. The leaves may be strongly rose-scented, although the leaf shape and scent vary. Some plants are very strongly scented and others have little or no scent. Some leaves are deeply incised and others less so, being slightly lobed like P. capitatum.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

4 comments:

  1. it is a wonderful plant! I love the scent! and it is hardy too! beautiful photo!

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