Pelargonium glutinosum is a large shrub which has strong balsam scented dark leaves and grows to 1m or more in height.
The flowers are pink and have a darker pink mark on the top petals.
It grows in wide areas of the western area of cape province.
It has just started flowering here in Crete a few weeks after the snowy weather.
Most of the scented leaf Pelargoniums are native to Africa and grow on mountainsides,forests, near rivers or streams usually near to coastal areas.
The scented aromas from the leaves of the pelargoniums are produced and contained in the Trichomes,
Trichomes meaning “hair” in Greek are long upright thin hairs on the surface of the leaves.
These hairs protrude from the epidermis in which plant cells are joined together giving protection and strength.
Most pelargoniums contain both glandular( which produces essential oil) and non glandular trichones.
There are six different types of scented pelargoniums species:
p. capitatum, p. radens (lemon/rose), p. graveolens (mint/rose)
P. tomentosum (peppermint)
P. vitifolium ( musky/lemon)
P. viscosissimum (balsam)
P.citronellium (strong lemon scented)
Camphor scented (similar to rosemary scent)
P. glutinosum ( strong balsam)
P.odoratissimum (apple scented)
P. quercifolium (balsam)
P. grossulariodes (minty/fruity)
P. abrontanifolium (woody scent)
P. grandicalcaratum ( peppery scented)
P. betulinum ( camphor scented)
P. englerianum (endangered species)
P.triste was the first pelargonium to be taken to Europe around 1600 by the Dutch East India company to the gardens of Leiden in the Netherlands, now one of the oldest existing botanical gardens in the world.
Because of the tuberous roots this pelargonium could travel for long periods without much water.
It has green leaves which is similar to the leaves of the carrot plant.
The flowers are purple/brown or yellow and are only scented at night with a lovely fragrance which can fill up the room.