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Pink Penny

Learn about perennial cultivars, on this Focus on Flowers.

I am always impressed by the names of perennial cultivars. The linguistic creativity of plant breeders and marketers knows no bounds. Just when we think that all ways of combining simple words have been exhausted, a new one pops up on a catalog page.

Here is an example. I am a big fan of the cranesbill geraniums. These are classic, tough perennials in flower gardens, useful for stifling weeds, require little care, and soften the areas around the base of taller plants.

Geranium ‘ Rozanne’ was the 2008 plant of the year and shrugs off heat and its blue flowers continue all summer. Now I find there is a pink equivalent with the simple but delightful name of ‘Pink Penny’. Since I am partial to alliteration as well as to geraniums I intend to buy it.

White Flower Farm catalog describes it as having blooms “that are whiskered ( now that is an evocative word) with dark veins.” In full sun it is alleged to bloom all summer and well into fall. Of course hardy geraniums, unlike annual ones, never need deadheading either. While the newest cultivars usually cost a pretty penny, I am saving my pennies to buy this pink one.

Moya Andrews

, originally from Queensland, Australia, served as Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Faculties at Indiana University until 2004. In the same year, Moya began hosting Focus on Flowers for WFIU. In addition, Moya does interviews for Profiles, is a member of the Bloomington Hospital Board, and authored Perennials Short and Tall from Indiana University Press.

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