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Products > Pelargonium sidoides
Pelargonium sidoides - Kalwerbossie Geranium

Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Perennial
Family: Geraniaceae (Geraniums)
Origin: South Africa (Africa)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: Burgundy
Bloomtime: Year-round
Height: <1 foot
Width: <1 foot
Exposure: Full Sun
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 20-25° F
Pelargonium sidoides (Kalwerbossie Geranium) - This silver-gray foliaged perennial from South Africa forms tight 12 inch mounds of slightly-fragrant heart-shaped velvety leaves with small clusters of dark burgundy flowers held high above the foliage that are produced year-round in coastal California with a peak in late spring and summer. Plant in full sun in well-drained soils and irrigate regularly to occasionally spring through summer - is surprisingly water thrifty considering its origins in a summer rainfall area. It is hardy and evergreen to 25 F and can take colder temperatures but will be dormant - keep drier in winter if possible. This is an excellent container plant and has done exceptionally well in our garden plantings. Pelargonium sidoides comes from summer rainfall grasslands in the eastern Cape, Free State and Gauteng in the Republic of South Africa and the independent county of Lesotho. 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 specific epithet comes from this plant's foliage having a resemblance to that of Sida rhombifolia, a European plant in the malva family (Malvaceae) whose name was taken from an ancient Greek word for "water lily". In its native South Africa this plant is considered to have is a medicinal properties and is commonly called African Geranium. Its root extracts used to treat cold and flu but evidence to support its use for these purposes is described as low to very low. We have grown this charming plant since 2001 and got our original stock from Native Sons Nursery in Arroyo Grande. We also grow a selection that has lighter magenta-pink colored flowers that is called Pelargonium sidoides 'Gloriana' This description is based on research and observations made of this plant as it grows in our nursery, in our nursery garden and in other gardens that we have visited. We also try to incorporate comments received from others and appreciate getting feedback of any kind from those who have any additional information about this plant, particularly if they disagree with what we have written or if they have additional cultural tips that would aid others in growing Pelargonium sidoides.