When thinking of geraniums, you probably envision the common geranium of the genus Pelargonium. You may not realize that the genus Geranium is something entirely different and includes native wildflowers and herbaceous perennials.
Many cultivars of the genus Pelargonium exist: Martha Washington Geranium, ivy-leaved geranium and scented-leaved geranium are a few. Pelargoniums are usually grown as annuals but are easily over-wintered in a sunny window of the house. The genus Geranium includes native wildflowers and herbaceous perennials.
Scented-leaved geraniums, cultivars of Pelargonium, fall under the major types of common geraniums. They include Pelargonium graveolens, the rose-scented geranium, P. crispum, the lemon-scented geranium, P. x fragrans, the nutmeg geranium, P. odoratissimum, the apple-scented geranium and P. tomentosum, the peppermint geranium. Although the flowers of scented-leaved geraniums are not showy like other geraniums, they make excellent houseplants, and plant enthusiasts like the finely textured foliage. Scented-leaved geraniums make excellent potpourris, sachets and tea flavorings.
The flowers of genus Geranium go by the common names of hardy geranium or cranesbill. The cranesbills are easy to grow and make excellent border and edging plants. Some of these perennials self-seed and grow from 6 to 39 inches tall. The leaves are divided and flowers range in shades of violet, blue, pink, rose and cerise.