More greenhouse color

I have some photos left from my greenhouse visit of last weekend, showing off a couple of plant families with which I'm not very familiar.

If you know what this first one is, you've got one up on me, as I had never heard of them before (I'll show you the tag shortly).


(Note: I did boost the colors a bit in these photos, and gave them a bit of a glow effect. I took all of these with my iPhone camera which has a scratched lens cover, resulting in a "foggy" look that I'm tired of. A little artistic treatment makes me feel better about the photos.)

They came in several shades of blue, purples, and pinks:

So what are these plants with the colorful daisy-like blooms?

They're Pericallis hybrids, called "Senetti™". As the tag says, "The First Flower of Spring".

I wonder why I haven't heard about these before, or haven't seen them in people's yards? Oh, it's because these are hardy all the way down to 30ºF (-1ºC). So these are just blooming houseplants here. Why did they have them on display with the perennials instead of with all of the houseplants? Stop wasting my time!

This last photo is for educational use only:

It shows how digital camera sensors are sensitive to light in different ways. These flowers are all the same color, even though the ones on the edges appear to be a deeper purple color. Is this due to polarization, infrared sensitivity, or something else? I thought it was interesting enough to point out though. (Don't trust your camera!)

BTW, I passed on the Senetti™ if that wasn't already clear.

Moving on to the second plant family of today's post, of which I am also not very familiar:

Geraniums? Well, they're commonly called that, but they're really Pelargonium. Not all of these had tags, but at least one of them was Pelargonium crispum, or "lemon germanium".

These all had some unique and interesting foliage, and although this one was plain green...

...most of them were variegated. I love the foliage of these, and love the lemony fragrance -- but I'm not overly fond of the pink blooms (that I've seen in photos). Maybe I should give a few a try though?

I really do want to grow all fragrant foliage on the deck this year (instead of cactus cuttings like last year) and these might fit in quite nicely.

What do you think? Senetti™ yes or no? What about Pelargonium?


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sandy lawrence –   – (March 16, 2013 at 2:51 PM)  

I like the rose geranium because the bottoms of cake tins lined with the leaves give the most delightful aroma and flavor to a white cake. I like the look of that lemon geranium you show, too. Established Senetti can withstand temps lower than 30º here but they're too high maintenance for me. In our limey soil, they require lots of fertilizer and regular iron amendment.

Salty Pumpkin Studio  – (March 16, 2013 at 4:20 PM)  

I've seen those daisies before, years ago. As I recall, they drooped a lot for some reason.

Sylvanna  – (March 16, 2013 at 11:44 PM)  

Senetti, yuck! Looks unnatural, whatever your camera is doing. Better on the second kind, but I'm not buying the geranium name.

danger garden  – (March 17, 2013 at 12:40 PM)  

Well you know how I feel about the not hardy in your area plants, just wrong! You also mention an interesting effect of the camera on how it reads color...reminded me of something I noticed at the Plant Nerd Night event that I attended. As I aimed my camera at the big screen where the plant photos were being projected (? not sure "projected" is the right word any more...) I could watch the color pulsate back and forth between a reddish, greenish and bluish tint. It was bizarre, I also managed to capture the different colors.

Kris Peterson  – (March 17, 2013 at 2:13 PM)  

Both the Pericallis and the scented Pelargoniums are common here in Southern California. The 'Senetti' Pericallis is an "improvement" on the Cineraria that used to be available in greater numbers in the past - while they're more resistant to the dreaded leaf-miner, they runty and available in fewer (albeit flashier) colors than the older varieties. I put a few in my garden this year but I can't say I'm satisfied with them. The Pelargoniums, on the other hand, are a mainstay for me - in addition to being fragrant, they're long-blooming and work well as fillers. In California, they bloom off and on all year.

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