Pelargonium X hortorum (Garden geranium)

“The kings of Tyrus with their convict list, are waiting in line for their geranium kiss”, Bob Dylan enigmatically sings, alluding to the Bible and his wife Sara. A geranium kiss sounds like a mixed blessing in that line. The so-called ‘geraniums’ with red, pink, salmon, violet, white umbel-like flowers that many grow in gardens or containers are actually pelargoniums yet both are in the Geraniaceae family. Plants in the genus Geranium differ with flowers that are more symmetrical with just five petals, growing on thinner stalks and closer to the ground. In Victorian England, pelargoniums were seen as low-class flowers, though this class association has dissolved somewhat over time, and they have emotional or sentimental connections. Pelargonium is a perennial and can grow to 2 feet tall and loves full sun. With 280 known species, many in South Africa, Pelargonium X hortorum flowers are asymmetrical and grow in showy clusters. A tea can be made from the leaves which is antiseptic and aids in PMS and menopausal symptoms. In magic, geranium attracts happiness, and can expel negative spirits

Elizabeth Oriel 2022