Herb: Apple Geranium

Latin name: Pelargonium odoratissimum

Family: Geraniaceae (Geranium Family)

Medicinal use of Apple Geranium:

The whole plant is an aromatic herb with astringent, tonic and antiseptic effects. It is used internally in the treatment of debility, gastro-enteritis and haemorrhage. Externally, it is used to treat skin complaints, injuries, neuralgia and throat infections. The essential oil is used in aromatherapy. Its keyword is "Balancing". It is used in the treatment of burns, sores and shingles.

Description of the plant:


20 cm
(7 3/4 inch)

May to


Habitat of the herb:

Shady places and under trees in forest margins in eastern and southern Cape areas.

Edible parts of Apple Geranium:

The leaves are crushed and used to flavour salads, 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. The leaves have an apple scent according to one report but our plants have a very strong minty smell. An infusion of the leaves is used as a tea.

Other uses of the herb:

An essential oil is obtained from the plant. It is used in aromatherapy, perfumery and as an insect repellent. The growing plant will repel flies, especially if the leaves are touched occasionally to release their scent. The leaves are dried for use in pot-pourri and herb pillows.

Propagation of Apple 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:

Shady places and under trees in forest margins in eastern and southern Cape areas.

Known hazards of Pelargonium odoratissimum:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.