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Common Name: Pennyroyal Geranium
Pelargonium exstipulatum is an evergreen shrub that can grow up to 1.00 metres tall.
It is harvested from the wild for local use as a food, medicine and source of materials.
Growing in sandy rocky places in the Little Karoo near the Gauritz River[
Requires a light well-drained neutral to alkaline soil in a sunny position[
]. Plants need to be kept on the dry side[
Plants are not very cold-hardy in Britain, tolerating temperatures down to about -3°c[
]. They generally require greenhouse protection but might succeed outdoors when grown in a very sheltered warm spot in the mildest parts of the country[
]. They can also be grown in containers that are placed outdoors in the summer and then brought into the greenhouse or conservatory for the winter[
]. The plants need to be kept fairly dry in the winter[
Very tolerant of pruning, they can be cut right down to the base in the autumn when bringing them back indoors, or in the spring to encourage lots of fresh growth[
The crushed leaves are used to flavour jellies, cakes, fruit dishes etc[
All parts of the plant are astringent[
]. It can be harvested as required and used fresh[
An essential oil is obtained from the plant. It has a pennyroyal fragrance[
]. The essential oil is an effective inhibitor of hydrochloric acid corrosion when coated over steel[
Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a greenhouse. Stored seed should be sown in early spring in a greenhouse. The seed germinates best with a minimum temperature of 13°c, germination usually taking place within 2 weeks though it sometimes takes some months[
]. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. If trying them outdoors, plant them out in early summer and consider giving them extra protection during the winter.
Cuttings succeed at almost any time in the growing season but early summer is the best time in order for the new plant to become established before winter. The cuttings root easily[