Geranium phaeum 'Lady in Mourning' - new cultivar name

12 February 2016  |  Admin

One of three older articles that have been moved to the Blog on this website from elsewhere...


Geranium phaeum ‘Lady in Mourning’

This is a new cultivar name to replace Geranium phaeum ‘Mourning Widow’.

Geranium phaeum ‘Mourning Widow’ was the name applied and understood by most gardeners to mean the cultivar of Geranium phaeum with dark crimson-black flowers, golden anthers, dark stems and plain green unspotted leaves.  Like all ciltivars of Geranium phaeum this must be propagated by division as seedlings will not be true.

But because “mourning widow” is apparently a common name for Geranium phaeum generally, in accordance with internationally accepted rules of nomenclature, it cannot be used as a cultivar name.  Because Geranium phaeum ‘Mourning Widow’ was an invalid name it could not be listed in the RHS Plant Finder which instead referred searchers to Geranium phaeum black-flowered.  Other nurseries might list it as Geranium phaeum dark form or other variants.

Making Geranium phaeum ‘Lady in Mourning’ the valid cultivar name for this plant should regularise the situation and hopefully avoid further confusion.

Jenny Fuller

© J&T Fuller 2007, permission granted for use by non-profit making clubs/societies etc to use in their newsletters and journals.  All we ask is that it is used complete with no editing and that we are credited properly (it would be nice to receive a copy of the publication as well!).