Zonal Pelargonium

This group, referred to botanically as P. ×hortorum L.H. Bail., consists of a complex group of hybrids resulting from the cross, P. inquinans × P. zonale, although other S African Cape species may be involved.

Plants in the group have succulent stems to about 0.5 m tall, becoming leggy. The leaves are generally furry, roundish to kidney-shaped, the margins wavy or scalloped, the centre variegated, often with darker central zones. The flowers may be single, semi-double, double or rosebud (flowers with a heart of up to 100 unopened petals giving the appearance of a rosebud); they may be multicoloured (sometimes referred to as vari-petalled), being variously striped, spotty-edged or reversed. Many of these arose as sports, and reversion to original colouring may occur. The cultivars with very finely freckled petals are sometimes referred to as Bird's-egg cultivars.The centre of the flower is often paler than the outside. The quilled or cactus group (sometimes called the poinsettia geraniums) has petals curled back to look like quills.

Flowers known as Five Fingereds, having characteristic star-shaped or five-fingered flowers, were developed by Ted Both of SA by crossing 'Fiery Chief' with a range of zonals. He made more than 600 crosses but only three were named before his death. Mr Blackman, of Alice Springs, named the rest for Ada Both, Ted's widow, and they include P. 'Celestial Star' with single white flowers, P. 'Judy Swinbourne' with double, salmon pink flowers with white throats, and P. 'Pixie Rose' with flowers double and rose pink. Other horticultural cultivars include Both's Staphs, Staphs, Stellars, Formosa (P. 'Formosa' has a bright salmon, semi-double flower and deeply lobed leaves; P. 'Presto' was the first plant to be developed from a single formosum flower - it is salmon with white edges; P. 'Red Witch' is double with bright red flowers), Miller's Formosum Hybrids, Bodey's Formosum Hybrids and so on. The late Jack Holt of Frankston, Vic, crossed the gold-leaved 'Argyle' with an unknown Staph to produce P. 'Evening Star', with flowers pale pink, single, and leaves yellow-green with a bronze zone. Mrs Marjorie Edwards of Bendigo, Vic, has also hybridised some of this group and Ken Attfield of NSW has produced some,mostly double, miniature Five Fingereds.The Deacons were developed by the late Rev. Stanley Stringer of Occold, Suffolk, UK. This group has a compact habit with smaller flowers than the normal zonal, but an abundance of them; they are a cross between the miniature zonal P. 'Orion' and the ivy-leaf P. 'Blue Peter'. Over 100 varieties were released in the 1970s, including P. 'Deacon Arlon', compact plants with double white flowers; P. 'Deacon Fireball', with double scarlet flowers; P. 'Deacon Mandarin', with double orange flowers; P. 'Deacon Moonlight', with double pale lilac flowers; and P. 'Peacock', with orange-red flowers.

Source: Spencer, R.; Stockton, B. (2002). Pelargonium. In: Spencer, R.. Horticultural Flora of South-eastern Australia. Volume 4. Flowering plants. Dicotyledons. Part 3. The identification of garden and cultivated plants. University of New South Wales Press.

Pelargonium 'Apple Blossom Rosebud'

Double bud-like white flowers with dark pink edging and sometimes pale green in the centre.

This is a Zonal Pelargonium.

Originated in the USA in the 1940s.

Pelargonium 'Colin Tilley'

Flowers single, rich orange with a white centre.

This is a Zonal Pelargonium.

Raised by Tilley, Australia, c. 1978.

Pelargonium 'Flesh Pink'

Flowers double, in shades of pale pink, with a white base suffused with darker pink.

This is a Zonal Pelargonium.

Raised in the UK, c. 1950.

Pelargonium 'Lady Folkstone'

Flowers single, magenta-rose with a white throat.

This is a Zonal Pelargonium.

Pelargonium 'Melva Bird'

Flowers double, crimson.

This is a Zonal Pelargonium.

Raised Ted Both, SA.

Pelargonium 'Modesty'

Flowers double, pure white.

This is a Zonal Pelargonium.

Pelargonium 'Patricia Andrea'

Flowers tulip-shaped, pale red.

A sport of P. 'Neon Fiat'.

This is a Zonal Pelargonium.

Pelargonium 'Queen of Whites'

Flowers single, white.

This is a Zonal Pelargonium.

Pelargonium 'Radience'

Flowers double, salmon red with a white throat.

This is a Zonal Pelargonium.

kingdom Plantae
phylum   Tracheophyta
class    Magnoliopsida
superorder     Rosanae
order      Geraniales
family       Geraniaceae
genus        Pelargonium L'Hér.