Rose-scented pelargonium

Rose-scented pelargonium

Pelargonium capitatum

Scientific name

Pink-flowered low-growing (30 cm) shrub with highly-frilly, sweet-scented leaves. It grows well in semi-shade and is often found in disturbed areas and is therefore a useful pioneer plant. It flowers from September to October.

It is pollinated by bees and other insects.

It is useful for essential oils, as a skin softener, to treat rashes, cracked heels, cuts. As a tea it has been used to treat kidney, bladder and stomach ailments.

Grow from seeds, that should be sown in late summer or autumn, or cuttings. Click here to read how to propagate from cuttings:

Also known as Coast pelargonium.

Propagation instructions

By seed

The seed of pelargoniums is quite interesting in that attached to the elliptically shaped seed, is a feathered, tail-like structure that is coiled in a spiral. The tail allows the seed to drill and secure itself in the soil if twisted around by the wind or affected by the movement of animals. Sow the seed in a light, well-drained potting soil. Broadcast the seeds evenly in the seed tray, covering them with a layer of sand. The depth of sowing is usually one-and-a-half times the size of the seed. Water thoroughly keeping the soil moist but water gently and provide light shade. Germination usually takes place within three weeks. Pelargoniums grown from seed are generally more vigorous than those made of cuttings; however, they take longer to flower.

By cutting

Cuttings can be grown at any time of the year. Soft, herbaceous stem cuttings should be taken and a rooting hormone applied to it to stimulate the rooting process. Plant the cutting in well drained soil and water lightly without disturbing the soil or the roots will be damaged. Rooting of this species usually takes about three weeks. Once the cuttings have rooted they can then be planted into a pot for a 4 to 8 weeks until they have a number of strong stems and are big enough to be planted out.

References and further reading

PlantZAfrica profile »

Wikipedia page »

Seedbank Quantity
Arundel Seedbank 71
Tin Capsule Seedbank 715
Total 786

This table below shows how many plants we are trying to obtain for this species.

Site Area Quantity
Site #62 Newlands 7
Site #67 Rondebosch 25
Site #68 Rondebosch 50
Site #69 Rondebosch 200
Site #70 Rondebosch 25
Site #65 Rondebosch 20
Site #71 Rondebosch 25
Site #72 Rondebosch 25
Site #102 Newlands 14
Site #96 Bonteheuwel 14
Site #103 Mowbray 14
Site #95 Bonteheuwel 14
Site #104 Athlone 14
Site #105 Rosebank 14
Site #107 Mowbray 0
5 other sites 56
Total 461

Important characteristics

Conservation status: Least Concern

This species was selected because it has various important characteristics.

It provides medicinal value



Good potplant

Pioneer species

Easy to grow

Suitable for clay soil

Suitable for sandy soil

It provides food for:


Pelargonium capitatum is indigenous to: Cape Flats Sand Fynbos Cape Flats Dune Strandveld Cape Flats Sand Fynbos Peninsula Shale Renosterveld Cape Flats Dune Strandveld

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