How to tell the difference?

Cheshire, United Kingdom

Could anybody help me to correctly identify the difference between the following Geraniums, as I keep seeming to purchase the same plant labelled differently.
Geranium reflexum
Geranium x monacense nothovar. anglicum
Geranium phaeum lividum Majus
The plants that I have of these all have reflexed pink flowers with plain green leaves.
Thanks for the help,
Mauser

Bolton, Greater Manc, United Kingdom(Zone 8a)

Hi Mauser
The identification and classification of these geraniums are difficult and to be honest only experience can help you to know the difference. Grow all three species and you will learn the difference. Basically phaeum and reflexum are species and Monacense is a hybrid produced by crossing the two (phaeumXreflexum=monacense) Phaeum does not have a reflexed flower. It should be flat or bowl shaped. If it does reflex back then it has probably been propagted by seed and has crossed with something else. Thus you will not have the true species. Relexum is quite severly reflexed and monacense is half reflexed.
For more help see my photo gallery at http://www.overthegardengate.net/garden/archives/category.asp?linkid=175

I hope that this helps.

Cheshire, United Kingdom

Hello Psilo,

Thanks for the infornation! I'll have to take another look at them when they are in flower next year! It's difficult identifiying some of these Geraniums when books and other websites all have different pictures of them. So finding the true plant becomes a nightmare! I'm trying to get together a big collection of phaeums and relatives. The scary thing is the National Collection holder of them is selling wrongly labelled plants which makes it even more difficult!
I see that you have a big collection of Geraniums, where to you get yours from?
All the best
Mauser

Bolton, Greater Manc, United Kingdom(Zone 8a)

Mauser which national collection holder are you getting your plants from? To be honest I have been collecting mine for a very long time and I have gottent hem from all over the place. SOme sources are Judith Bradshaw (Nat coll holder) Crug farm, rosies garden plants,the continent and other private growers. I see that you live in cheshire. That is not a million miles from myself as I live in Bolton. The trouble is that these plants have gotten so mixed up that there are few people who sell them that know what they truely have.
psilo

Cheshire, United Kingdom

Hello Psilo,

My 2 favourite places to get correctly named plants are Crug and Plantsmans Preference. The National Collection Holder was in Wales for the Geranium phaeums. The worst offence there was Geranium phaeum Lily Lovell, the plant being offered had small dark flowers, and spots on the leaves! When I questioned them as to wether it was Lily Lovell, they said another National Collection Holder had given it to them and it was definately the correct plant. This has driven me on to try and build my own National Collection with hopefully all correctly named plants! I fear I have a battle royale on my hands though!
All the best
Mauser

Bolton, Greater Manc, United Kingdom(Zone 8a)

yes I got alot of my plants from plantsmans preference too. This species is a very difficult area to get right. I have very many different varieites including quite a few crosses. They may well believe it to be the right species as these things get passed off as one thing and another and this is how the confusion starts. All the best for your own national collection ;)

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