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Common Name: Ivy-Leaved Geranium
Pelargonium peltatum is an evergreen shrub that can grow up to 1.50 metres tall.
It is harvested from the wild for local use as a food, medicine and source of materials.
S. Africa - Cape Province to East London.
Grows in scrub along the coast or on dry rocky hillsides[
Requires a light well-drained neutral to alkaline soil in a sunny position[
Not very hardy in Britain, it generally requires greenhouse protection but might succeed outdoors in the mildest parts of the country[
], especially if grown against a sunny wall and given some protection in the winter[
]. 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[
There are many named forms, selected for their ornamental value[
Leaves and buds - raw or cooked. An acid flavour[
], they are used as a vegetable[
All parts of the plant are astringent[
A blue indigo dye is obtained from the flower petals. It is used in painting.
An essential oil is obtained from the plant.
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.