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Pelargonium Profile - Pelargonium ‘Clorinda’

by Wayne L. Handlos PhD

 

‘Clorinda’ is a sturdy, floriferous pelargonium that has been around for over a hundred years. It produces

masses of bright pink (neon pink, hot pink, cerise pink) flowers in clusters. Each flower is about 1

½ inches in diameter. The two upper petals have a darker red area in the middle, with burgundy to black

veins beneath. The lower petals are unmarked.

 

The leaves are variously lobed – usually described as three-lobed but depending on your definition up to

9 lobes may be found. The margins of the leaves are toothed. The leaves are scented and have been

imaginatively described as eucalyptus, cedar, lemon or cedar rose. Pungent (according to Faye Brawner)

is most accurate.

 

In my garden the plant reaches about three feet tall and the plant sprawls across the border. The plant

has been reported as suitable for training as a standard or tree. It can also be espaliered (trained on a

trellis, framework or wall). In my garden it tolerates light frosts (27 degrees F).

The plant is usually vegetatively reproduced from cuttings. Root buds send up plantlets around the parent

plant. These can be dug up and potted. The flowers do not seem to set seeds. The stamens are

small and probably do not produce viable pollen.

 

Several sports/mutations have been named and these include ‘Orchid’ or ‘Mauve Clorinda’ with a lighter

flower color. ‘Golden Clorinda’ (yellow leaf margin) and ‘Silver Clorinda’ (white edged leaf) were introduced

by Gary Scheidt in California in 1982.

 

In earlier days, ‘Clorinda’ was considered one of the Unique pelargoniums, but more recently it has been

listed with the scented leaf geraniums. The best guesstimate of its parentage is as a hybrid between Pelargonium

quercifolium and some unknown regal (P. x domesticum). This is an “oldie but goodie” geranium, best

in the ground or in a large pot.

© 2010, Central Coast Geranium Society (CCGS )