For most of us when we think about Geraniums we visualize those varieties commonly grown in our gardens which produce an abundance of color in the spring. They come in the very standard colors of white, pink, orange salmon and red.
The nursery industry has hybridized a special new breed of plants, they are tough, they grow quickly, they ship well, and they mass produce them to get the cost down to pennies per plant which makes them very affordable to the public. These geraniums are actually Pelargoniums (Pelargonium hortorum) better known as Zonal geraniums. It’s OK to call them geraniums as everyone knows what we mean. The other commonly grown variety is the Ivy geranium (Pelargonium peltatum) and they come in the basic colors. In the last few years the giant wholesale growers began hybridizing new varieties and have created some remarkable flower color combinations with stripes and blotches making them very desirable for use in hanging baskets or cascading over a wall in your garden space. The zonal varieties have also had a transfusion and the flower colors are more elaborate than ever before. These are the tough kids on the block and occupy only a tiny fraction of the diversity found in the genus "Geraniaceae" (geranium).
This Web site is dedicated to all of the rest of the Genus, which I call "The Collectibles".
For the most part these varieties are not Happy in the ground, they want to be grown in containers.
There are 20,000 varieties in the family and the diversity of this species of plant is well documented. The geranium species is classified into distinct groups (classes) and those classifications have been further hybridized into some very remarkable specimens.
These, then, are the plants described in this web site. Forty years ago there were small geranium nurseries found throughout California and North America and all over the world for that matter. As the big wholesale nurserymen found a niche in the market millions of inexpensive plants were mass produced at a cost that the small nurseryman could no longer be competitive. One by one these small growers vanished and with them the ‘Collectables’ which were so very unique. Agricultural import restrictions prohibit the shipment of Collectables from other counties.
In 2009, there are only a few reputable growers left in North America. Of these, there is only one large grower, Geraniaceae, supplying Pelargonium species, scented and angels, Hardy Geraniums and Erodiums. All of the other varieties in this vast genus are provided to a very small degree by several little nurseries and mail-order businesses.
This website is attempting to provide sufficient information to demonstrate the desirable characteristics of these fabulous plants in hopes of rekindling interest for the hobbyist.