Pelargonium Quinquelobatum

The young plant of Pelargonium quinquelobatum is now coming up to flower, it has greenish blue leaves and yellowish green flowers and is native to Tanzania, Kenya and Ethiopia. P. Tongaense is also about to flower which has red petals that attract butterflies.


Pelargonium leaf types

leaf pic facebook

The amazing thing about Pelargoniums is not only the aromatic leaf fragrances & the elegant flowers but also the wide variety of leaf shapes, Many pelargonium species especially the more scented varieties have leaves that resemble other plants and can look similar to the leaves of an oak, grape vine, fern,birch, currant leaves, gooseberry, maple & ivy.

Some leaf types are more rounded in shape such as the P. odoratissmum (apple scented) and the P. grossularioides (gooseberry leaved fruit scented), where as the P. cucullatum (birch leaved), P. citronellum (lemon scented) & the P. vitifolium have more irregular rounded to triangular leaves.

P. radens (rose/lemon scented), P. quericifolium (balsam oak leaf) and P. denticulatum (balsam scented) have finely divided leaves,

P. elongatum, P. mollicomum (pineapple scented) , P. peltatum & P. Zonale all have zoned leaves

P. betulium – birch leaf

P. fruticosum- fern leaf

P. grossularioides- gooseberry

P. hirtum- feathery leaves

P. hispidum- maple

P. otaviense – paw like

P. panduriforme – fiddle shaped

P. peltatum – ivy leaf

P. quercifolium – oak

P. ribifolium- currant leaf

P. vitifolium – vine leaf

Pelargonium antidysentericum

p.praemorsum for web

P. antidysentericum is an usual plant that in its native habitat looses its leaves during the Summer months and then after flowering in Autumn produces new growth, although in cultivation this may not occur. The name antidysentericum is derived from the medicinal word antidysenteric meaning to relieve or to prevent dysentery, It has a very large tuber partly underground which grows to about 1m with short branches and rounded toothed leaves. The flowers are pinkish purple to white in colour with darker markings on the petals.
The P. praemorsum is similar to P. antidysentericum but doesn’t have a tuber and has more showy cream to pink or purple flowers and deeper veins which has the appearance of a butterfly.
The name praemorsum means “bitten off” because of the unsharp edges around the leaflets which are rounded and wedge shaped. It grows to about 30cm in height and was first grown in Europe in the 1800s by seed which was originally collected by Mr Quarrell for the Colvills nursery

P. ionidiflorum

p-ionidiflorumP. ionidiflorum is a small & beautiful woody pelargonium that grows to about 40cm. The brightly coloured flowers are light pink to dark violet in colour with deep red markings on the upper petals, the name of this particular plant is taken from the Greek word “ion” meaning the colour violet and “florum” meaning flower in Latin. The delicate scented leaves are soft, bright green elliptic and divided.
This pelargonium is fairly common and in its native habitat it mostly grows in rocky areas of the Eastern Cape, it prefers dry soil conditions and can grow in hanging baskets, rock gardens, window boxes or as a border.
This plant has also created some lovely cultivars in the USA when hybridized with P. dichondrifolium, P. australe and P. odoratissimum to produce Lavender lad, Lavender lass and also Lilac lady.

Pelargonium triste


Pelargonium triste now has new growth after being dormant through most of the Summer.
P. triste is a Summer deciduous tuberous plant with light green carrot like leaves and  has yellow flowers which only open at night.
This plant was the first recorded pelargonium to be taken Europe, to the botanical gardens of Leiden by the VOC and could withstand long voyages by ship.

scented leaves in cooking

Tea pot with cup
pelargonium tea

Scented pelargonium leaves can be used in cooking, baking, beverages,flavouring and also in icecream,meringues,liqueur, jellies and more.
Rubbing the leaves brings out the scented fragrance before it is used for your ingredients.
The flowers and leaves are edible and can be placed on top of
cakes & desserts,
Mint,Lemon & Rose scented leaves are the most popular in food flavouring but there are many more aromas to choose from.
Chopped leaves can be added to cakes,custard,milk pudding, sweet sauces and sorbet for flavouring.
They can also be used to add flavour to tea/iced tea or homemade lemonade or smoothes.

Hanging baskets

peli hanging basket

Many Pelargonium species can look beautiful in a hanging basket especially the slightly trailing types such as the Pelargonium peltatum shown in the picture. Smaller pelargoniums can also be planted together in one basket to add colour to the garden and the scented varieties release lovely fragrances.
Pelargoniums ideal for hanging baskets include: P. capitatum (rose), P. grossularioides (fruit), P. mollicomum (pineapple), P. crispum (lemon), P. peltatum, P. tomentosum (mint), P. exsitipulatum among others.