Those rows and rows of multi-coloured annual bedding plants that are called ‘geraniums’ in temperate-zone commercial nurseries are – botanically-speaking – actually from the genus Pelargonium.
The genus Geranium consists of 422 species that look more like the plant pictured above. Many of these are perennial, and have the common name “cranesbill,” referring to the morphology of their unique seed capsule and dispersal strategy.
Dr. Wolfgang Stuppy comments:‘Very interesting indeed!
Multi-embryo seeds are encountered in Viscaceae but are the product of
several developing seeds melting into each other, as far as I know. True
polyembryony is however common in Citrus spp. Apomictic plant species
may produce somatic embryos from cells of the nucellus and those may
indeed develop contrapolar.’
The seeds are stored in closed (“serotinous”) cones for many years until an environmental cue triggers the cones to open, releasing the seeds. The most common form of serotiny is pyriscence, in which a resin binds the cones shut until melted by a forest fire.