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Pelargonium x hortorum (a.k.a. Zonal Geranium) ‘Jean Byrne’

 by Diane and Wayne Handlos

            

  Jean Byrne—teacher            "Jean Byrne' plant           ‘Jean Byrne’   flower         'Jean Byrne' leaf

Jean Byrne’ was found as a volunteer seedling in our Orcutt CA garden. She was

discovered growing wild on her own path. ‘Jean Byrne’ is distinctive and not totally

predictable. This cultivar is derived from a series called “Ripples” which are characterized

by the streaked and speckled coloration of the petals. This character

is caused by a genetic process called a “jumping gene” (as in 'gene' not 'Jean') or  

transposon. Thus, ‘Jean Byrne’ has an attractive, unique but highly unpredictable

appearance. Despite her beauty, ‘Jean Byrne’ shows strength and the ability to thrive

even with many challenges, e.g. frost, sporadic watering and marauding children.

         "Jean Byrne, Drama: Ms Jean Byrne has taught in the Orcutt Union School District

since 1986. She brings to the Academy a body of dramatic work that is legend in the

Santa Maria Valley, having directed and produced dozens of plays and musicals

over the span of her teaching career. She teaches one class of Theater at the Academy

and teaches Honors English, Art, Performing Arts, and Keyboarding at Lakeview

Junior High School. She has been a part time instructor at Alan Hancock

Community College for 15 years in the English and Language departments. Ms

Byrne received her Bachelors of Arts from Caldwell College for Women in her native

state of New Jersey and her Masters Degree in English from Cal State

LA. When asked what she loves best about her job, without hesitation she replied,

" My students!" She believes respect, passion, and compassion are keys to her success

as an educator." ( www.orcuttacademycharter.net )

                             Description of Pelargonium x hortorum  'Jean Byrne'

‘JEAN BYRNE’ - a new cultivar of Pelargonium x hortorum

This is a self-branching, minutely hairy, lightly scented shrub growing 30 to 50 cm tall. The leaves

are roughly orbicular in outline, crenately toothed, with a cordate base. The leaves are finely hairy;

veins are impressed above and prominent below. The petioles are 2 to 6 cm long, finely hairy;

stipules are triangular, green, to 1.5 cm long, apiculate.The flowers are pale pink with reddish dots and

streaks, in many flowered clusters subtended by several green bracts which soon turn brown. The peduncles

are about 10 cm long, minutely hairy; pedicels are about 2 cm long and minutely hairy. The 2 upper petals

are slightly smaller (15 by 20 mm) than the 3 lower petals (20 by 20 mm). The petals darken with age to

bright pink. The base of the petals is white giving the flower a distinct white eye. The hypanthium is 5-10 mm

long; the ovary and style are hairy.