Pelargonium antidysentericum is a upright or trailing plant that can grow into a large shrub and becomes more woody with age. This pelargonium has pale purple to mid purple flowers with pinkish purple markings, each flowering stalk contains 2-5 flowers. It is aromatic with an underground tuber which can grow to 14 cm across, the leaves are kidney shaped & 5 lobed but can vary, some types are zoned and are greyish green in colour while others are light green without being zoned, there are said to be three subspecies of this plant.
The name “antidysentericum” is derived from the pharmacological word antidysenteric meaning medicine for dysentery, the Khoikhoi (hottentots) aboriginal people of South Africa used this plant to treat dysentery and also for anemia. It was given the name by Vincenz Franz Kosteletzky a bohemian doctor and botanist who studied medicinal plants (1801-1887).
Pelargonium antidysentericum grows in South Africa in the Northern Cape where it grows on hillsides in rocky areas.