Monday, September 21, 2009

Gee Whiz Geums

Geum 'Jess'
There are about 50 species of Geums some of which are native to Australia but most of the garden plants are derived from the temperate northern hemisphere native Geum rivale or "River Avens". They are delightful and hardy perennials which do quite well in warm temperate climates as well as cool temperate ones. Flowers are produced on tall stems from late winter right through summer with flower colour usually bright orange , red or yellow as well as some softer toned pastel forms such as the pink flowered 'Jess' pictured above. They require a good moist soil and a part shaded position to do well . When stressed by a lack of water, the rosette of rounded leaves which forms the base of the plant wilts and individual leaves often turn brown at the edges . Lack of water also results in healthy plants becoming vulnerable to spider mite attack which shows up as distinctive silvering of older leaves. Some of the cultivars I have grown which are readily available and easy to grow are 'Mrs J. Bradshaw' (scarlet flowers), 'Lady Stratheden' (bright yellow) 'Tangerine' (bright orange) 'Blazing Sunset' (bright red) and 'Lionel Cox' (creamy pale yellow).
2017 update: I no longer grow Geums.

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