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Products > Pelargonium tomentosum
Pelargonium tomentosum - Peppermint-Scented Geranium

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Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Perennial
Family: Geraniaceae (Geraniums)
Origin: South Africa (Africa)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: White
Bloomtime: Spring/Summer
Height: 1-2 feet
Width: 3-4 feet
Exposure: Light Shade/Part Sun
Irrigation (H2O Info): Medium Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 25-30° F
Pelargonium tomentosum (Peppermint-Scented Geranium) - An aromatic low sprawling subshrub to 2 feet tall by 4 feet or more wide with velvety soft peppermint-scented leaves. In spring and summer appear the small white flowers with purple markings on the upper petals that develop on branched inflorescences above the foliage. Plant in light shade to coastal full sun in moderately well-drained soil and irrigate occasionally to regularly. Often listed as hardy only to 32°F but we have found it to easily recover from short duration temperatures down to 28°F and it certainly survived our January 2007 freeze with three nights with short duration temperatures down to 25°F with hardly a setback . This plant makes a great wide-spreading groundcover in light shade and the leaves can also be used as a culinary herb. Pelargonium tomentosum in habitat grows in sandy soils in semi-shaded, moist habitats, on the forest margins and stream sides in the mountainous areas of the southern Cape of South Africa. The name for the genus comes from Johannes Burman (1707-1780, a Dutch physician and botanist whom Linnaeus worked for in his youth. Burman first used the name to describe some South African Geraniums in 1738. The name was derived from the Greek word 'pelargós' (pe?a????) meaning "stork" because the seed head looks like that of a stork's beak. The species name tomentosum refers to the leaves which have soft short hairs. This plant also commonly called the Pennyroyal Geranium. Its strongly mint-scented leaves can be used to flavor tea, jellies and pastries and included in pot-pourris. The leaves have long been used in its native habitat for a topical treatment to soothe bruises and sprains.  The information provided on this page is based on research we have conducted about this plant in our nursery's library, from what we have found about it on reliable online sources, as well as from observations in our nursery of crops of this plant as well as of plants growing in the nursery's garden and those in other gardens. We will also incorporate comments received from others and welcome getting feedback from anyone who may have additional information, particularly if it includes cultural information that would aid others in growing  Pelargonium tomentosum.