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What's in a Name? Is it Sweet Miriam or Sweet Mimosa?

(January 26, 2009)
I was in the process of reorganising our greenhouse so  that I would be able to find plants more easily for orders and save some time.  When you grow on the scale that we do the different cultivars do tend to get mixed up at the varying stages of growth.  Space tends to be filled quickly and at the end of a busy day I am guilty of often putting plants in the greenhouse with every good intention of moving them into the appropriate groups the following day but, of course, it doesn't always happen.
 
So What's in a Name?  Confused...you soon will be!
We had bought in some starter plants a couple of years ago from different reputable growers, here in the UK, of Sweet Miriam and Sweet Mimosa.  We have subsequently taken cuttings and brought these on into mature plants.  I had these in a nearby area in the greenhouse and as I was tidying the plants up I noticed that the leaf shape and the scent is very similar.  A basic panic came over me as we had these listed on our website as being different cultivars.  Research was called for.  After trawling the web I came across www.hotgeraniums located in Canada and the article by Marilyn A. Holt of how the mix up in names most likely occurs.  It's a very interesting article and I have learnt a lot and will be trying my best to check original names in the future prior to making any new purchases of scenteds.  I'd highly recommend that you read the article.  You see the problem is that getting hold of this type of information is not easy and it isn't in one place or available book (unless you know different? I'd be very pleased to hear from you.).  I have had a couple of books recommended to me but the price shocked me, around £70.  The other dilemma is that I've noticed that scenteds are sometimes called by one name in the US and by another here in the UK, which backs up what Marilyn Holt is saying.  The whole topic of scented geraniums continues to fascinate me (yes, I do know they are really pelargoniums and that's another article for another time) and the area of What's in a Name just adds to the whole subject. 
 
I'd love to hear your experiences of name mix ups and I'll print these on the site as a learning tool for all of us.
 
As for Sweet Miriam or should that be Sweet Mimosa?
I was so confused by this name dilemma that I contacted a good friend and reputable SG grower in England who has over 30 years experience.
Apparently, Sweet Miriam was 'discovered' in the US in 1984.  A couple of years later it appeared in an English catalogue named as Sweet Mimosa.  We have, therefore, changed our Catalogue to Sweet Miriam with Sweet Mimosa being the SG's 2nd name.  We are given to understand that there are quite a few SG's that are known by more than one name and I dare say that we'll come across others.  I did mention it was confusing.........but I think totally fascinating.  A sharp learning curve or what!

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