The genera (larger family) of ‘Geraniaceae’ covers a large family of plants
In 1609 some Pelargonium zonale plants from the Cape of Good Hope - Africa were taken by ship to Holland by the Dutch Governor and in 1932 the first Pelargonium (Pel. trist) was taken to England.
From 1841 after the Napeoleonic War, England gained control of the Cape and lots of plants made their way to England, a botanical magazine was started to record the many types and colours called ‘Sweets Geraniaceae’
Because the climatic conditions were very different from their natural habitat, they were grown in glasshouses or treated as an annual plant.
From England geraniums made their way to America with the many English migrants moving to a new land, the plants did very well especially in California as the climate was warmer and dryer.
Plants also made it to Australia, again with migrating families, bringing their favourite garden plants to settle in a new land.
Australia enjoyed a surge in geranium fever after World War II, many new types were produced and Societies and annual shows organised.
Fancy leaved pelargoniums enjoyed a great popularity mid last century in England. The flowers were removed to allow all the plants nutrients for the colourful foliage.
The first Ivy - Pelargonium peltatum was introduced into Holland in 1700 the original Ivy geranium had pink single flowers. The Ivy geranium plant had made it to England by 1774 and many new shades were bred.