isiXhosa: (related to iKhubalo and Inkubele)

Afrikaans: Maagpynbossie

Camphor-scented pelargonium

Camphor-scented pelargonium

Pelargonium betulinum

Scientific name

The flowers are large and attractive. Flower colour is variable, pink and purplish flowers being most commonly seen in the wild, and there is also a white form. All flowers have dark purplish streaks on the petals, particularly on the two upper petals.

The seed is adapted to wind-dispersal, is light in weight and has a feathered tail which is coiled into a spiral. After landing on the ground in suitably soft soil, the tail causes the seed to be twisted around so that it drills into the soil in a corkscrew fashion, thus securing itself, ready to germinate with the onset of the rainy weather in autumn.

Click here to read how to propagate from cuttings:

Propagation instructions

By seed

Seed should be sown at a depth of 2-3 mm in late summer to autumn (February to March) in a well-drained sandy loam. Germination should occur in 1-3 weeks with percentage germination of ±75%. Remember that plants grown from seed will show some degree of variation and, if a particular form or variant is required, it must be propagated vegetatively.

By cutting

Propagation is by cuttings or seed. This species is readily propagated from softwood and tip cuttings taken from healthy young growth in autumn (March to May). The cuttings should be left to dry in a cool spot for a few hours. The basal ends should be dipped in a rooting hormone, and inserted into a prepared hole made by a dibber or a nail to avoid damaging the ends. The cuttings should be rooted in a cold frame, in a well-drained medium, such as coarse river sand. The first watering should contain a fungicide or agricultural disinfectant — for example a.i. benomyl (Benlate)/copper oxychloride/captab (Kaptan)/didecyl dimethyl ammonium chloride (Sporekill)) — after which the cuttings should be watered regularly but not excessively. Rooting should occur in 4 to 8 weeks and a weaning period of 1 week is recommended. The newly rooted cuttings can be fed with a seaweed-based fertilizer and potted up after they have been weaned.

References and further reading

PlantZAfrica profile »

Image credit: Wikimedia Commons.
We currently have no seeds of this species in our seedbanks. Do you have any seeds or do you know where we can get some? Get in touch!
Nursery Quantity
Beryl's nursery 20
Mother Nursery 3
Rosie's nursery 20
Total 43

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

Site Area Quantity
Site #7 Delft 3
Site #11 Delft 5
Site #62 Newlands 10
Site #62 Newlands 7
Total 25

Important characteristics

Conservation status: Least Concern

This species was selected because it has various important characteristics.

It provides medicinal value

It is a pioneer species suitable for establishing the soil in bare areas

Wind resistant




Good potplant

Easy to grow

Good for coastal areas

It provides food for:


Pelargonium betulinum is indigenous to: Cape Flats Sand Fynbos Cape Flats Dune Strandveld Cape Flats Dune Strandveld

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