Geranium is a genus of 422 species of flowering annual, biennial, and perennial plants that are commonly known as the cranesbills. They are found throughout the temperate regions of the world and the mountains of the tropics, but mostly in the eastern part of the Mediterranean region. The long, palmately cleft leaves are broadly circular in form.
The flowers have five petals and are coloured white, pink, purple or blue, often with distinctive veining. Geraniums will grow in any soil as long as it is not waterlogged. Propagation is by semiripe cuttings in summer, by seed, or by division in autumn or spring. Confusingly, "geranium" is also the common name of members of the genus Pelargonium (sometimes known as 'storksbill'), which are also in the Geraniaceae family.
These are generally half-hardy plants which are either grown from seed every year, or offered as bedding in spring and discarded after flowering. Linnaeus originally included all the species in one genus, Geranium, but they were later separated into two genera by Charles L’Héritier in 1789. Other former members of the genus are now classified in genus Erodium, including the plants known as filarees in North America.The term "hardy geranium" is often applied to geraniums to distinguish them from the pelargoniums.
However, not all geranium species are winter-hardy.The shape of the flowers offers one way of distinguishing between the two genera Geranium and Pelargonium. Geranium flowers have five very similar petals, and are thus radially symmetrical (actinomorphic), whereas pelargonium flowers have two upper petals which are different from the three lower petals, so the flowers have a single plane of symmetry (zygomorphic). Scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Munchen, Germany have found that South African geranium plant extracts represent a potential new class of anti-HIV-1 agents for the treatment of AIDS.
Geranium oil can be used to help in the treatment of acne, bruises, burns, cuts, dermatitis, eczema, hemorrhoids, lice, as a mosquito repellant, ringworm, ulcers, breast engorgement, edema, poor circulation, sore throat, tonsillitis, PMS, menopausal problems, stress and neuralgia.The essential oil prepared from the geranium herb has a pleasant, captivating and long-lasting aroma. Hence, it is widely used as a deodorant for regulating perspiration and purging body odor.
One of the most Important Essential Oil in a perfumers lab , and nearly all perfumers will have two to three or maybe more types of Geranium in their lab. One of the best known floralizer and limitless in application and percentage use in a compound.
However technically there is only one True Geranium and that is Zdravetz Oil and the other so called Chinese Geranium , Egyptian Geranium etc are from the Pelargonium Family.