Blooming Rose Geranium

Blooming Rose Geranium

Pelargoniums, commonly known as geraniums, are the red and pink flowering plants that we cultivate for our window boxes and for bedding along park walkways and city streets, knowing they can be relied upon to earn their keep with color all summer long.  There is, however, one species within the genus more highly regarded for its scented leaves than its flowers, Pelargonium graveolens.  In turn, there are many cultivars within this species, but most popular is one with strongly rose-scented leaves.  More simply called rose geranium, its botanical essence is infused into Blossom Water Pomegranate Geranium.  Native to the Cape of South Africa, 17th century Dutch sailors were the first to introduce this plant to Europe.   Rose geranium became chic during the English Victorian era.  It was often kept potted in society parlors so a fresh sprig was always at hand whenever necessary to “rejuvenate” the senses, and its leaves were also placed in finger bowls for formal dining.  Today, it is cultivated on a large scale, and its foliage distilled for the rose scent and flavor.