Pelargonium sidoides

Pelargonium sidoides (1024x682)This little pelargonium has been on The List for a while. The rich purple flowers, almost black from some angles, may be small but what they lack in size they make up for in dramatic impact.  The grey downy heart-shaped leaves are perfumed, although admittedly not as strongly as many of the scented pelargoniums, forming a neat rosette.  This plant is not only beautiful but clever (remind you of anyone?); it has adapted a thickened root system to enable it survive the regular grass fires that occur in its native South Africa.  It also boasts medicinal properties, being used as a cold and flu remedy and is a constituent of many over the counter products.  If none of the above impresses you, surely it is worth growing for the common name alone, Umckaloabo.  Go on shout it out UMCKALOABA!  It feels good, doesn’t it?



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12 responses to “Pelargonium sidoides

  1. Love it…I’ve grown this for about 10 years and I bought it from Powys Castle,I do like the species and scented Pelargoniums best but I do have a soft spot for all of them.My conservatory is still full of flower even now .

  2. Oooh, aaah, UMCKALOABA!

  3. Michelle - Germany

    Ah…….I want it very very much as you know!! 🙂

  4. Malvern Maid


  5. diversifolius

    I like it – unusual colour. Does it set seeds? (just kidding – you’re lucky, I found today a few seeds on Desmodium canadensis 🙂

  6. Betsy Hosegood


  7. My neighbours have sent for the men in white coats! After appearing to dig a grave in the garden this summer they probably think I am sacrificing something and doing weird chants. It’s a bit of a tongue twister isn’t it? Beautiful geranium, although I am sure you beat it hands down 😉

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