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You will receive
- 1 Scented Geranium Peppermint Herb Plant in a 50 X 75mm tube - General growing instructions
All of our Herb Plants are grown organically with certified organic potting mixes and fertilizers
Scented Geranium Peppermint
Botanical Name: Pelargonium tomentosum
Peppermint Scented Geranium is a low growing shrub with a sprawling or trailing growth habit. It will spread in all directions up to 65cm wide and up to 80cm tall. The palm shaped leaves are heart shaped at the base with 3-5 rounded lobes, 3-5cm wide and up to 6cm long. The leaves are soft due to a cover of glandular hairs which give a velvet touch and sheen to the leaves. When rubbed or crushed the leaves emit a peppermint fragrance. This minty aroma is said to be the best of all the mint scented geraniums. The small and dainty white flowers are borne on a branched inflorescence and have purple markings on the upper petals. The flowering period is from spring to summer, from October to January.
The natural habitat of Pelargonium tomentosum is a small area in the Cape region of South Africa. It is confined to mountainous habitats where it grows in moist sandy soils, near streams in the semi- shade of ravine forests. Although it only grows in two small regions this pelargonium is considered to be common in the wild.
Peppermint Scented Geranium has the genus name ‘pelargonium’ which comes from the Greek word ‘pelargos’, meaning stork. This is a reference to the shape of the fruit which looks like a stork’s beak. Pelargoniums are called ‘storkbills’ in some areas of the United States. The species name ‘tomentosum’ refers to the dense and matted covering of hairs on the leaves, creating a velvety texture and silver sheen. It may be also known by the common name Penny Royal Pelargonium or simply Peppermint Pelargonium.
Pelargonium General Notes
Pelargoniums are evergreen perennials, sharing many common characteristics with the Geranium species. They range in height from 30- 100cm and may be categorized based on varying leaf shapes, such as crinkled, oak or fern leaf shapes. The leaf colour may vary from deep to light green, with flowers generally held in loose clusters. Most prefer to grow in full sun and they are also drought and heat tolerant. However, some varieties do require some shade and moist conditions where possible. Many grow near streams in their native habitats, but generally ‘less is more’ is a good guideline for watering these plants. They do not like to be damp at all.
This group of plants were initially catalogued by Linnaeus into the same Genus as Geraniums, but were separated into separate genera in 1789. Pelargoniums were taken to England in 1631, but it is likely they were transported to Holland in the earlier 1600’s. Since early times various varieties have been developed and many are now cultivated commercially for the essential oils used in perfumery and aromatherapy.
The Pelargonium genus is one of five in the family Geraniaceae, which has over 800 species. This includes the separate Geranium genus, which often causes confusion since ‘geranium’ is also used as a common name for the many Pelargonium species and cultivars. There is thought to be 270 species of Pelargonium, with 219 being native to South Africa. Among these, there is a number of genera or subtypes of pelargonium based on features such as leaf type. Of this selection about 80% are native only to select areas in the southern regions of South Africa. The remaining 20% are found in Australia, New Zealand and a few select areas such as Madagascar and Eastern Africa. There are now cultivated varieties all over the world, most with origins in South Africa. The true Geranium species is a hardy group of plants native to North America and Europe.
The Geranium plant family is an important food source for certain Lepidoptera species in their native regions. For more information on our other Scented Geranium listings.
Most pelargoniums enjoy full sun, but Peppermint Scented Geranium benefits from more afternoon shade than other varieties. It grows very well in semi-shaded positions, similar to the native environment it prefers. It requires a moist, but not damp environment, with well- drained soil. It has average water needs and should be somewhat tolerant of dry conditions for short periods once established. All soil types would be suitable as long as they were free draining. Embankments or mounds in the garden would be a good position for this pelargonium.
This plant also grows well in containers and hanging baskets where it can show off its trailing habit to good effect. In containers it will form a nice rounded mound if kept trimmed. In cold regions it may even be taken indoors, but may be better treated as an annual if this is not possible. Although, not very tolerant of frost some plants may die down and return when the weather warms in spring. It may be propagated by tip or stem cuttings taken in autumn or spring.
Pelargoniums are usually suitable for culinary use, particularly the leaves and flowers. They may be used for herbal teas and to sweeten and scent desserts such as cakes and jelly. The most commonly used are those with rose, lemon and peppermint scents. Leaves may be cut and placed in ice cube trays for later use in iced tea or other suitable cold drinks. Peppermint Scented Geranium is particularly good for added a minty scent and taste to cakes and other deserts. Try lining the bottom of cake tins with leaves before cooking for an interesting flavour.
A tea infusion may be made using 3 teaspoons of freshly chopped leaves, or 1 teaspoon of dried leaves, and 1 cup (250mls) of boiling water. Let the leaves steep, strain and then drink as needed. There are several varieties suitable for a tea infusion, but it may be a matter of taste.
Peppermint Scented Geranium is used for making poultices for bruises and sprains. As with other pelargonium species all parts of the plant are astringent and there may be other medicinal benefits.
Many South African varieties of Pelargonium have a history of traditional medicine use by local tribes. General traditional use has included treatment for digestive and respiratory ailments, wounds, burns, ulcers and abscesses, cold sores and sore throats. The active chemicals are slightly astringent so they are good for skin care, oily skin and cleansing the pores. Overall the pelargonium species are seen as having value for creating a relaxing and uplifting feeling, while calming nerves, anxiety and aiding depression. There is also value for use in premenstrual tension and for those seeking an essential oil for creating a soothing and balancing effect on the body. Different varieties may have different effects.
The strongly scented Rose Scented Geranium, Pelargonium graveolens, is one of the best plants in this genus for traditional medicine use. Several active chemicals, in this species, have been determined to be beneficial for having antibiotic effects and nerve pain relief. Research has indicated it is helpful for nerve pain associated with shingles. It is thought to also have a soothing effect on the skin when used to bath rashes, skin irritations or simply used in bath water.
Many of the scented pelargonium species and varieties are cultivated especially for their use in perfumery, aromatherapy and massage therapy. Many scented geraniums are used for commercial purposes such as extracting flavours for commercial culinary purposes. The oil is extracted from the leaf and stems of the plant.
All information provided on this website is for informational purposes only. Please seek professional advice before commencing any treatment.
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