Q&A with Glenys Woollard - Gardening

What's the difference between a geranium and a pelargonium?

True geraniums are hardy perennials that grow easily from seed. Also known as cranesbills, they have deeply divided leaves and flowers about 3cm across in shades of pink, blue and purple. Pelargoniums, on the other hand, are frost-tender and usually are propagated from cuttings. They come in brighter colours and often have scented leaves. Plants labelled Ivy Geranium, Scented Geranium, and Zonal Geranium are usually different species of pelargonium. This name confusion began in the 17th century, and continues.

Is it true that seeds from the monkey-puzzle tree (Araucaria araucana) are edible?

Yes. They are similar to large pine nuts. All pines produce edible seeds, although only about 20 species have nuts big enough to be of much food value. Monkey-puzzle trees are related to bunya-bunya pines (Araucaria bidwillii), which also yield edible nuts from the cone. Just one thing: monkey-puzzle trees don't produce seeds until they are 30 to 40 years old - so not exactly an instant crop.

If you have a gardening question, email Glenys at glenyswoollard@clear.net.nz

- Hamilton News

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