Pelargonium X fragrans
low; moderate; water wise
white; pink; spring; summer; autumn
sun; semi-shade; pm sun; am sun; rockery; walls; sandy soils; dry soil; container; roof; slope bank; afternoon sun; fragrant garden; small gardens; wildlife garden bees butterflies insects
coastal kzn; coastal Eastern Cape; hot dry; rocky places; fynbos
Pelargonium coronopifolium: Western Cape; P. odoratissimum: thicket, subtropical East Coast; Highveld; Western Cape; P. exstipulatum: Karoo
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The Nutmeg Pelargonium is a dainty hybrid form with a bushy, clump-forming growth habit that forms neat cushions of up to 35 cm high with a spread of 25 cm. The flowers, sitting above frilly velvet-like grey/ green leaves, are typical of this genus, white, with dark pink lines on the upper two petals. Leaves emit a gorgeous sceed when crushed between fingers or even just touched - nutmeg with a faint trace of lemon. This little shrublet requires little maintenance other than a light trim in autumn to prevent woodiness. Plants flower from spring to autumn, thrive in sandy and well-drained soils, are water-wise and will survive a light frost. The growth habit is neat and plants play well with neighbours! Many other scented hybrids are now available: ‘Old Spice’ and ‘Green Apple’, for example. Use to flavour tea, jellies, cakes, or as a filler in potpourri, herb pillows and bath bags. Used as a mulch, it is said to control plant-eating insects. Suggested parent plants are Pelargonium coronopifolium, a Western Cape endemic, P. exstipulatum, from the Karoo, and P. odoratissimum, from the Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga, Western Cape.