Herb: Lemon Geranium

Latin name: Pelargonium crispum

Family: Geraniaceae (Geranium Family)

Medicinal use of Lemon Geranium:

All parts of the plant are astringent. It can be harvested as required and used fresh.

Description of the plant:


70 cm
(2 feet)

May to


Habitat of the herb:

Dry lower slopes in sandy soil amongst boulders in the south-west Cape.

Edible parts of Lemon Geranium:

The leaves have a pleasant lemon aroma. They are crushed and used to flavour soups, fruit dishes, jellies, sorbets, ice-cream, cakes etc. Cake pans can be lined with the leaves and the pastry will be infused with their essence. An infusion of the leaves is used as a tea.

Other uses of the herb:

An essential oil is obtained from the leaves and young shoots. Strawberry and citral-scented, it is used in perfumery and soap making. The leaves are dried for pot-pourri and for making herb pillows.

Propagation of Lemon Geranium:

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 13C, 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.

Cultivation of the herb:

Dry lower slopes in sandy soil amongst boulders in the south-west Cape.

Known hazards of Pelargonium crispum:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.