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Pelargonium Profile - Apricot Pelargonium a.k.a. Paton’s Unique Pelargonium  by Wayne L. Handlos

< The ‘Apricot’ geranium or ‘Paton’s Unique’ pelargonium has a bright coral pink flower (Neyron rose). The center of the flower is light pink. The two upper petals are veined with purple or burgundy. The flowers are produced in clusters of 4 – 9 flowers. Blooms are produced abundantly in spring and summer but may be found almost any month of the year here on the Central Coast.

The dark green leaves are stiff, with five major lobes. The margins of the roughly triangular leaves are toothed. The leaves are scented – apricot is imaginative. Someone has suggested they have the scent of apricot leaves! Hmm. While there are probably several aromatic scents being produced by these leaves (wine-tasters take note) and various overtones may be detected, Faye Brawner’s suggestion of "pungent" is a reasonable description. When stressed or cold the leaves may turn red.

The plant is rather floppy and rangy but does reach a height in my garden of about two feet. It is somewhat frost resistant – having tolerated many frosty mornings this past winter. The temperatures never dropped below 27 degrees F though.

A similar plant with "curved, crimped and curled" petals is named ‘Madame Nonin’ and has been around since 1870. The flowers look almost double. (This plant has also been called ‘M. Nonin’, ‘Mme. Nonin’, ‘M. Ninon’, ‘Ninon’s Apricot’ and ‘Nonin’s Apricot’.) See illustration.

 ‘Phyllis’ is another variation but this plant has a variegated leaf.

 < 'Phyllis inflorescence & leaves                                                            flower of  'Light Rose Paton's Unique' >

Another sport of ‘Paton’s Unique’ is a light, lavender-pink flowered cultivar called ‘Light Rose Paton’s Unique’ or ‘Mexican Sage’. The flowers in this cultivar are a light lavender pink with darker veins. The two upper petals are more heavily veined than the others. See illustration.                                                                                                           

All of these plants must be propagated from cuttings. Rooting may be slow but will occur eventually. In three years in my garden ‘Paton’s Unique" has never produced any seeds.These are plants that are tough and hardy. They withstand abuse and neglect. They deserve a place in your garden. With a bit of care and some extra water they make a magnificent display. I recommend them highly.

These are plants that are tough and hardy. They withstand abuse and neglect. They deserve a place in your garden. With a bit of care and some extra water they make a magnificent display. I recommend them highly.             July 2006

More about Paton’s Unique or the Apricot Geranium

Robin Parer, owner of Geraniaceae, had two additional sports/mutants of Paton’s Unique for sale at the 2006 Annual Meeting of IGS -

‘Apricot Fool’ and ‘Apricot Glace’. Obviously these are different color forms of the standard flower color. ‘Apricot Fool’, named after an

English dessert, has flowers which are apricot colored – light orange, while ‘Apricot Glace’ is whitish with hints of palest orange on the

 petals.

  As these grow, I’ll report on their performance here on the Central Coast.

 

   <  Paton’s Unique standard flower color   

 

                                                                                                                                       

© 2010, Central Coast Geranium Society (CCGS )