Pelargonium capitatum- scented leaf uses & hybrids

pelargonium capitatum-rose scented leaves

P. capitatum is a beautiful elegant pelargonium with delicate trailing stems which can look stunning in large pots. The attractive leaves are soft ovate & crinkled with a rose scent and bears lovely 10-12 mauve-pink flowers.
The highly scented perfume of rose released from its soft ovate leaves is simply beautiful when added to potpourri, fragrant pillows, or to add flavour to food & beverages such as cakes, desserts, pastry, sugar, bread, chocolates, jelly, jam, ice cream, ice cubes, rice pudding, syrup, salads tea, cocktails, lemonade, fruit drinks and much more.
Finger bowls with scented leaves were placed on the table during meals by the Victorians to keep their hand clean during each course. The Victorian sponge cake was also very popular during the 1800’s when scented leaves were added to the base of a tin with the mix added on top before baking, then removed when cool.
Rose or graveolens leaves were added to a regular sponge mix and P. tomentosum- peppermint-scented leaves to the chocolate flavoured sponge. The flowers can be candied and used to decorate cakes, they are edible and can look very attractive.

The long trailing stems of P. capitatum growing in a pot

Other scented leaf pelargoniums such as P. crispum, P. quercifolium, P. graveolens, P. tomentosum & P. citronellum which all have their own unique scented leaf fragrance can also be added to food & drinks as well as a several hybrids that are related to these species.
They can also be added to towels to keep its freshness and help to deter moths. Essential oil is extracted from its leaves and is often used in aromatherapy, candles, soap, perfume and skincare products. The soft leaves can also be applied to the hands to soften hard skin and scratches.

Attar of roses is a popular cultivar of P. capitatum, the pinnately lobed leaves have a stronger rose scent and are rougher in texture with fine hairs, the flowers are also smaller & pinker in colour. Attar means highly perfumed in Persian and refers to its strong rose-like scent on the leaves, essential oil is extracted from its leaves and are used as a substitute for rose essential because it is less expressive to produce.


Rober’s lemon rose has large lemony rose-scented triangular irregular three-lobed leaves which are grey-green and soft to the touch, the origins of this hybrid are unclear, possibly a cultivar of P. graveolens or a hybrid of P. capitatum x P. x limoneum, The flowers are purple-pink with darker markings and is also known as the tomato geranium because its leaves resemble that of a tomato plant.


P. ‘pink capitatum’ is a variety of P. Capitatum but with larger striking flowers of pale pink with shades of darker pink around the edges of the petals. The leaves look similar to that of P. capitatum which are lobed but the scent differs and has a sweet rose lemon elder flower fragrance. This plant is also said to bloom for many months of the year.


P. ‘round leaf rose’ is another capitatum variety, a sprawling plant with pink reddish flowers and darker red veins, the leaves are rounded, ruffled and slightly toothed with lemon rose scent.

P. x asperum is a hybrid between P. capitatum and P. radens, it is used commercially for its essential oil which is obtained from its leaves. It has white to pale pink flowers with darker markings and has deeply divided leaves with soft hairs with a mint rose scent.


P. ‘Atomic snowflake’ has pungent scented leaves which are three-lobed and edged with white, the flowers bear striking mauve colour flowers with darker markings and is great as a container plant or for a flower border.

Pelargonium capitatum lavender & chocolate cup cakes

These tempting & delicious cupcakes are just heavenly to snack on during your coffee or tea break. The natural flavours of chocolate, rose leaf pelargonium and lavender create a delicate rose, minty floral taste along with the sweetened  lemon icing.

Ingredients
75g (3 oz) self raising flour (or plain flour with 1 tablespoon baking powder)
100g(4 oz) caster sugar
100g margarine
2 eggs, beaten
3-4 sprigs of lavender flowers, flowers taken off stalk
3-4 leaves of pelargonium capitatum, cut into small pieces
3 tablespoons of cocoa powder (mixed in with the eggs)
A pinch of cinnamon
Topping (optional) lemon icing or another favour of your choice
One lemon,  100g icing sugar

To prepare
First place 18 paper cases onto a prepared  cupcake baking tray, then add the margarine and  the sugar into a warmed mixing bowl, cream the two ingredients  together using a wooden spoon until it is lighter in colour with a fluffy consistency, also mixing in any of the mixture left at the sides of the bowl.
Mix the  cocoa with a small amount of water in a small bowl  so that it turns into a paste and then add it to the beaten eggs, blending it well together with a fork. Then Add the egg/cocoa mixture a little at a time to the margarine and sugar mix, beating well together.
Next slowly fold in the flour making it as light as possible, adding the pinch of cinnamon, chopped rose scented pelargonium leaves and lavender flowers, Mix together and then spoon the mixture into the paper cases  and place them in the oven for 20 minutes at a temperature of 190 c (375 F mark 5)
lightly press the top of the cup cake with your finger to tell if they are ready and if it bounces back then they can be taken out of the oven and allow to cool.
After baking you can choose to add a layer of icing sugar with a sprinkle of lavender flowers and  then serve with a refreshment such as tea or coffee.
Icing sugar (optional)
Prepare a bowl and add 100g of icing sugar, then pour in one tablespoon of  lemon juice and mix together using the back of a spoon until it is the right consistency, adding another tablespoon or icing sugar  if needed.. Make sure the cakes are on a level surface then gently pour a small amount on top of each cake and spread it over with a knife, or if you prefer you can use a piping bag. Sprinkle with lavender flowers and or decorate with pelargonium flowers.

These Scrumptious and flavoursome scones are delicious drizzled with honey and walnuts or simply a spreading of jam, The herbs rosemary and thyme create a piney and minty flavour along with the balsam and lemony taste of the Pelargonium citronellum leaves, a lovely addition to your coffee or tea break.

Ingredients

225g (8oz) self raising flour (or plain flour with 1 tablespoon baking powder)
5ml (1tsp) baking powder
50g margarine or butter cut into small pieces
1 egg
A little milk
A pinch of salt or 1-2 tablespoons of sugar (depending on taste)
2-3 sprigs of rosemary, leaves finely chopped
2-3 sprigs of thyme, leaves taken off stalk
1-2 leaves of pelargonium citronellum
A Peel of half a lemon finely chopped or grated
Topping honey and or walnuts or jam

To prepare
Sift the self raising flour with the added baking powder into a mixing bowl, add the margarine and  rub in lightly with your fingers & thumbs above the bowl until the texture is similar to that of  fine breadcrumbs.
If you have a sweet tooth add 1-2 tablespoons of sugar  or just a pinch of salt as the drizzle of honey will act as a natural sweetener. You can also add a little olive oil if you like.
Add the finely chopped rosemary leaves and thyme as well as the finally chopped lemon peel and pelargonium citronellum leaves. Mix together in the flour mixture then make a well in the centre and add a beaten egg, stir the contents together adding a little milk until you reach the right consistency to form a soft dough.
Knead lightly to take out any visible cracks, then a light dusting of  flour to your work area and rolling pin, roll out the dough with a thickness of approximately 2 cm’s.
When the dough is rolled out carefully cutout the pieces using a 2 cm cutter or cut into triangles, add them to the baking tray lined with a baking sheet and place them in the oven for 8-10  at a temperature of 230 c (450 F mark 8)
you can also replace the egg with soya or almond milk.
After baking, cut the scone in half and add a layer of honey and or walnuts, or jam served with a refreshment such as tea or coffee.