Houseplants forum→Request for identification of lemon-scented houseplant

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Name: Jo

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ArrestedDevelopment
Aug 24, 2020 4:53 PM CST
Hi all,

My friend sent me a photo (attached) of a plant she owns, which she says has lemon sherbet-scented leaves. I'd love to get hold of one. Do you happen to know what it's called? She's not sure.

Thanks!
Thumb of 2020-08-24/ArrestedDevelopment/98e984

Name: Rj
Just S of the twin cities of M (Zone 4b)
Garden Ideas: Level 1 Plant Identifier Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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crawgarden
Aug 24, 2020 8:52 PM CST
Welcome to the site!
A better pic of the leaves would be helpful.
Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.
Name: Jo

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ArrestedDevelopment
Aug 25, 2020 2:19 PM CST
Thanks Rj! I think I'm getting a cutting, so I'll post a photo once I have it Smiling
Name: Zoë
Albuquerque NM, Elev 5310 ft (Zone 7b)
Region: New Mexico Herbs Salvias Composter Bee Lover Container Gardener
Bookworm Cat Lover Enjoys or suffers hot summers
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NMoasis
Aug 25, 2020 3:50 PM CST
Leaf shape eliminates most lemon-scented plants I can think of except possibly a very leggy lemon-scented geranium, Pelargonium crispum. We'll wait for close-ups to be sure.
For me, gardening is really just an excuse for playing in the dirt. Admittedly, plants are a satisfying by-product.
Name: Lin Vosbury
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)

Region: United States of America Region: Florida Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Garden Procrastinator
Birds Butterflies Bee Lover Hummingbirder Container Gardener Houseplants
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plantladylin
Aug 25, 2020 3:56 PM CST
I can't see the leaves clearly in your photo and it doesn't enlarge when I click it but the first plant that came to my mind was Citrosa Geranium (Pelargonium citrosum)

~ I'm an old gal who still loves playing in the dirt!
~ Playing in the dirt is my therapy ... and I'm in therapy a lot!


Name: Zoë
Albuquerque NM, Elev 5310 ft (Zone 7b)
Region: New Mexico Herbs Salvias Composter Bee Lover Container Gardener
Bookworm Cat Lover Enjoys or suffers hot summers
Image
NMoasis
Aug 25, 2020 4:14 PM CST
Lin, yes, makes more sense than crispum. Thumbs up
For me, gardening is really just an excuse for playing in the dirt. Admittedly, plants are a satisfying by-product.
Name: Lin Vosbury
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)

Region: United States of America Region: Florida Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Garden Procrastinator
Birds Butterflies Bee Lover Hummingbirder Container Gardener Houseplants
Image
plantladylin
Aug 25, 2020 4:23 PM CST
nmoasis said:Lin, yes, makes more sense than crispum. Thumbs up


LOL, that's just a guess on my part, I'm still not convinced that's the plant ... something about the leaves don't look quite right. Hopefully ArrestedDevelopment will be able to upload closer photos of the leaves.

~ I'm an old gal who still loves playing in the dirt!
~ Playing in the dirt is my therapy ... and I'm in therapy a lot!


Name: Rozzi Quaranta
New jersey (Zone 7a)
rq40
Aug 26, 2020 6:33 AM CST
Hi
That looks a lot like a citronella plant. The leaves are lacy, emit a lemon scent and are supposed to repel insects.
Name: Zoë
Albuquerque NM, Elev 5310 ft (Zone 7b)
Region: New Mexico Herbs Salvias Composter Bee Lover Container Gardener
Bookworm Cat Lover Enjoys or suffers hot summers
Image
NMoasis
Aug 26, 2020 12:42 PM CST
rq40 said:Hi
That looks a lot like a citronella plant. The leaves are lacy, emit a lemon scent and are supposed to repel insects.


Ha, "supposed" is the operative word. It's a worthless marketing ploy. What is marketed as a "citronella plant" is in fact a Pelargonium. The P. crispum is aka lemon-scented geranium. The P. citrosum that Lin pictured above is marketed as "mosquito" or "citronella" plant. It is also identified on some websites as P. citronellum. In fact, it is no relation at all to the plant from which citronella is obtained: Cymbopogon citratus – lemongrass.

That said, either or all of the Pelargoniums above are lovely, fragrant plants. Thumbs up
For me, gardening is really just an excuse for playing in the dirt. Admittedly, plants are a satisfying by-product.
Name: Jo

Image
ArrestedDevelopment
Aug 26, 2020 3:42 PM CST
Really interesting reading your suggestions! Here's a close-up:

Thumb of 2020-08-26/ArrestedDevelopment/fc8fe7

The leaf outline looks slightly simpler than on Pelargonium citrosum but perhaps there's variation between plants? I'll get the cutting next week so can provide more pics then.
Name: Lin Vosbury
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)

Region: United States of America Region: Florida Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Garden Procrastinator
Birds Butterflies Bee Lover Hummingbirder Container Gardener Houseplants
Image
plantladylin
Aug 26, 2020 4:50 PM CST
Seeing those leaves close up, I don't think it's Pelargonium citrosum. You didn't mention the part of the country/world where your friend lives (where the plant is coming from) and that might help in figuring out a correct identity.

I'll throw another wild guess out there ... maybe a Delphinium of some type? Shrug! It's been a long time since I've seen Delphinium in person but I think I remember them having fragrant leaves and something about the leaves reminds me of the plants I remember ... but I'm old and it could be some other plant entirely that I'm remembering. Rolling on the floor laughing

~ I'm an old gal who still loves playing in the dirt!
~ Playing in the dirt is my therapy ... and I'm in therapy a lot!


Name: Jo

Image
ArrestedDevelopment
Aug 26, 2020 5:31 PM CST
Hi Lin, my friend took the cutting from a plant growing in the UK. I'm pretty sure the parent plant was kept indoors but I'll double check. My friend's plant is certainly thriving indoors!
Name: Rj
Just S of the twin cities of M (Zone 4b)
Garden Ideas: Level 1 Plant Identifier Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
Image
crawgarden
Aug 26, 2020 5:52 PM CST
Is it possible for your friend to put a few of the leaves flat on a piece of paper?

When my lemon scented geranium is hurting for water, it can look a little like that
Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.
Name: Zoë
Albuquerque NM, Elev 5310 ft (Zone 7b)
Region: New Mexico Herbs Salvias Composter Bee Lover Container Gardener
Bookworm Cat Lover Enjoys or suffers hot summers
Image
NMoasis
Aug 26, 2020 11:12 PM CST
Yeah, the leaf doesn't work for pelargonium (but at least I now know about those varieties Whistling ). Whatever it is, it needs watering. We still need better photos of the whole plant: close-ups, stems, base, etc and in focus. The first photo at the top shows up very small on my screen.
For me, gardening is really just an excuse for playing in the dirt. Admittedly, plants are a satisfying by-product.
Name: Jo

Image
ArrestedDevelopment
Aug 27, 2020 2:57 AM CST
I'll see if my friend can give more pics. Failing that, once I have the cutting, I can post a spread of pics worthy of Hello! magazine haha. And I'll pass on the watering advice, thank you both Smiling
Name: Jo

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ArrestedDevelopment
Nov 10, 2020 4:31 PM CST
Hello! Sorry for the slow follow-up here. I've now got a cutting of the plant (pics below) and I think it is Pelargonium citrosum. Interested to know your thoughts!

Thumb of 2020-11-10/ArrestedDevelopment/86b7c4
Thumb of 2020-11-10/ArrestedDevelopment/0243a8

Name: Zoë
Albuquerque NM, Elev 5310 ft (Zone 7b)
Region: New Mexico Herbs Salvias Composter Bee Lover Container Gardener
Bookworm Cat Lover Enjoys or suffers hot summers
Image
NMoasis
Nov 10, 2020 5:25 PM CST
Hi, welcome back. I'm stumped at this point and hope someone else can ID your mystery plant. Here is a photo from our database of Pelargonium citrosum (taken at a botanical garden, so good chance it's an accurate ID)


The leaves in that photo, plus the numerous other images on the Internet and in our database seem somewhat sharper toothed than yours, and I know that the one I have has a stiffer leaf than what yours looks like. The differences could just be cultivation and growing conditions or yours is a close relative. Shrug!

For me, gardening is really just an excuse for playing in the dirt. Admittedly, plants are a satisfying by-product.

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