Pelargonium scabrum and other lemon scented species

pelargonium scabrum

Pelargonium scabrum is a charming pelargonium that has strong lemon-scented leaves with quite a rough texture & rhomboidal in shape. The flowers are white but can also be pink with purple markings on the upper petals and each flowering stalk contains about six flowers. It is an upright branching shrub that grows to about 100 cm /39 inches in height native to the Western Cape, Northern Cape and Eastern Cape where it grows in dry, rocky and coastal areas which has summer and winter rainfall.
The name ‘scabrum’ is derived from the Latin meaning having a raised texture, this refers to the leaves of this plant which is covered in rough hairs. Ideal for pots, tubs, fragrant gardens, rock gardens and succulent gardens. This plant prefers dry sandy loam soil conditions (PH. Acid/neutral) in full sun. It differs from the other strongly scented Pelargonium citronellum below by its larger leaves which are palmate in shape with pointed lobes and is also taller than P. scabrum reaching a height of 2 m. The flowers are also larger in size and purplish-pink in colour with darker markings on the upper petals. It is native to the Western Cape where it grows near streams or on hillsides.

pelargonium citronellum

Another lemon-scented pelargonium is P. crispum below which also has rough leaves but are much smaller in size with crisped margins. It is an upright plant that grows to about 70 cm /28 inches in height with large pink flowers and darker markings on the upper petals which shows some likeness to P. hermanniifolium.

Pelargonium vitifolium below has a somewhat lemony balm scent on the leaves, which resembles a vine leaf in shape with stiff hairs and are rough to the touch. It is a large upright shrub with coarsely toothed heart-shaped leaves, this shrub can grow quite large and may take over quite a wide area if not pruned in a Mediterranean type climate, it can also survive for short periods of frost or snow when fully grown.