Difference Between Pelargonium and Geranium  (With Table)

The beauty of nature is commendable. Flowers of different colors and shapes add tremendous beauty to any place. They calm the mind and bring peace to the soul. Pelargonium and Geranium are two very stunning flowers that people often fail to distinguish. They have a very slight similarity in appearance and differ a lot on many bases.

Pelargonium vs Geranium 

The main difference between Pelargonium and Geranium is that Pelargonium has two upper petals and three lower petals which somewhat disturbs the alignment too. On the other hand, all the petals of the Geranium flower are almost identical, which also gives them radial symmetry. 

Pelargonium is a widely grown flower. It has a very beautiful appearance and therefore is used in making garlands too. The genus of flowering plants to which Pelargonium belongs contains approximately 280 species. It has a beautiful lilac color, and sometimes it is dusky pink too.

Geranium has a similar texture and color to Pelargonium. This is why people sometimes fail to distinguish these two. The flowering plant’s genus to which Geranium belongs has a total of 420 species. Geranium has five identical petals and a gorgeous shade of pink color.

Comparison Table Between Pelargonium and Geranium 

Parameters of Comparison



Number of species

It belongs to the genus which has 280 species.

It belongs to the genus which has 420 species.


The two upper and three lower petals are different from each other.

The five petals of Geranium are all identical.


It has a lilac color but sometimes dusky pink too.

It has a light and dark pink color.


A single symmetry plane can be seen.

Radial symmetry can be seen.


It cannot tolerate cold temperatures.

It can tolerate cold temperatures.

What is Pelargonium?

Pelargonium might sound like the name of a dangerous being, but it is actually a very beautiful flower. The name Pelargonium has a very deep history. It originates from the Greek word ‘pelargos.’ The meaning of this word is a stork. It has such a beautiful appearance that many of its species are in use as house plants or gardening plants. They add a touch of beauty wherever they are grown. This is the reason why people prefer to use them as house plants by planting them in a pot. Another way of decorating the house with Pelargonium flowers is to plant them in the garden area and watch them turn into a magnificent sight.

When it comes to flowers, the most magnificent color seems to be pink. Pelargonium has beautiful petals that are pink in color that ultimately adds beauty to anything. It can also sometimes possess a lilac color which looks as gorgeous as pink. The topic of petal arrangement brings yet another story. Two of the five petals of a Pelargonium flower form the upper part, while the rest three petals form the lower half part of the flower. This gives the flower a single plane of symmetry. Another distinguishing factor of the Pelargonium flower from the Geranium flower is its temperature tolerance. Pelargonium cannot withstand cold climates or lower temperatures.

What is Geranium?

Geranium is a flower plant genus that includes about 420 species. The most common places where geranium is found are tropical mountains and many other temperate regions. It is a beautiful flower and is also known by the name cranesbill. The most commonly used name germanium comes from géranos which is a Greek word meaning crane. The name given to this flowering genus is because of its appearance. Some of the species of the geranium genus look like fruit capsules. A few capsules are so long that they resemble the shape of a crane which was the inspiration behind the name cranesbill. 

Geraniums are also known as Hardy geraniums. The reason behind the name is very interesting. They have a unique ability to withstand cold temperatures, or in other words, they can tolerate low temperatures. This is the reason behind meaning them Hardy. They have a mild color tone which is usually pink. Sometimes they are light pink and sometimes even purple. They have radial symmetry in the arrangement of the petals. Unlike pelargonium, geraniums have all five of the petals identical to each other. They have the same plane of placement too. It is easy to distinguish between Pelargonium and Geranium mainly due to this specification. 

Main Differences Between Pelargonium and Geranium 

  1. Pelargonium genus of flowering plants has about 280 species, whereas Geranium has 20 species.
  2. Pelargonium has dusky pink or lilac color petals. On the other hand, Geranium has a light and dark pinkish color.
  3. The symmetry of Pelargonium can be seen as a single symmetry plane while geranium has radial symmetry.
  4. The tolerance levels of both flowers are also very different. Pelargonium cannot withstand cold or low temperatures, while on the other hand, Geranium can handle low temperatures.
  5. Two of the five petals of the Pelargonium flower are above, while the rest three are below. On the other hand, all the petals of a Geranium flower are the same.


Pelargonium and Geranium are two of the most beautiful flowers of the vegetative world. They have a mesmerizing appearance that attracts anyone who sees them. They have a quite similar color palette but still are easy to distinguish due to several factors. The arrangement of petals is different in both the flowers.

On the one hand, Pelargonium has two petals as the upper half and three petals as the lower half. On the other hand, Geranium has all five petals identical and arranged in radial symmetry. This arrangement of petals helps a lot in distinguishing Pelargonium and geranium. The temperature factor is also a very useful aspect. Since pelargonium cannot withstand cold temperatures but geranium can, it is easier to spot the difference at lower temperatures. Both the flower genera are beautiful and quite fondly grown by people.


  1. https://www.aensiweb.net/AENSIWEB/rjabs/rjabs/2009/740-747.pdf
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0926669002000389