Friday, January 27, 2012

Pelargonium Rober's Lemon Rose

Who can resist to the beauty of a Rober's Lemon Rose pelargonium? Its soft and hairy delicate leaves call to those who see it, begging people to touch and smell them.

Pelargonium Rober's Lemon Rose hairy leaves

One of the most prized scented plant in our garden, it has an intriguing evergreen foliage exuding by a pleasant lemon-rose aroma with irregularly lobed and toothed shape.

Pelargonium Rober's Lemon Rose scented leaves

Some said that the leaves resemble the tomato leaves, perhaps for the  triangular shape of the leaves and the hairy looks of them.

camel in desert - miniature landscape with Pelargonium Rober's Lemon Rose

Rober's Lemon Rose is another larger-leafed pelargonium cultivar which hasn't a problem with watering, it is really tolerant to over- or under-watering due to its tuberous roots. It has a  robust, upright growing habit; has semi-woody stem and its leaves respond well to reduce their size when potted in small pots ... these making it a good candidate for miniature gardens or bonsai.

Miniature Garden with Rober's Lemon Rose Scented Pelargonium
Miniature Garden with Rober's Lemon Rose Scented Pelargonium

In the last few years we have grown nice specimens of this variety.  We are sure that it is a hybrid, although we still have some doubts about the real origins of this cultivar. Unfortunately, like some other hybrids, there are no viable seeds produced from the multitude of flowers when in bloom and we propagate them by strong and healthy cuttings from mother-plant material.

Rober's Lemon Rose Scented Pelargonium in bloom
Rober's Lemon Rose Flowers

Ya, I know, it's so easy for information to pile up and overwhelm... you may judge it by yourself:
  1. In the "Aromatic Pelargoniums", (1974), Roger Swain referred (page 106) Pelargonium Rober's Lemon-Rose as a Pelargonium Graveolens cultivar. 
  2. On the "Pelargoniums Guide" published on the "The Herb Society of America" website, Pelargonium Rober's Lemon - Rose it is also referred (page 23) as a Pelargonium Graveolens cultivar.
  3. In addition to other published books and online scientific works where it is reffered as a Pelargonium Graveolens cultivar, I found on "The Encyclopedia of Herbs" by Arthur O. Tucker and Thomas DeBaggio, at pages 375-376, that 'Rober's Lemon Rose' is a hybrid of Pelargonium Graveolens x Pelargonium Tomentosum that came from Ernest Rober in California in the 1940's, but the morphology and essential oil pattern suggest a chimera of Pelargonium Graveolens.

Why I was digging about it? I'm sure next pictures might lead you to think about their origins, too. Please let me know if you found some more info.

My challenge to you  is to appreciate this unique foliage of a Rober's Lemon Rose stock plant, which become last year a "two-in-one" plant. If you look closely you'll find what I am talking about.

Two in one pelargonium sport; different leaves shapes and fragrance.

Surprisingly, last spring it made some new shoots and suckers with leaves looking and smelling differently - as you may notice in the photos. What?! You can't smell it ?! Hmmm, I'm still looking for a way to share the flavors ;-)

Two in one scented pelargonium - Rober's Lemon Rose Scented Pelargonium with shoots looking like pelargonium graveolens
Close up of Pelargonium Two-in-one; please note the differences between leaves (right and left)

What are you thinking about its sports? Is the look of new leaves inherited from its parent: Pelargonium Graveolens?


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