There are many plants that are used to create perfumes or to decorate our home. The pretty flowers and sweet fragrances beautify any setting. Today we will talk about a specific species: pelargonium radens. Perhaps it sounds more like a geranium with scented leaves.
This plant, native to South Africa, it is easy to grow and is widely used in the perfume industry. In this article we will explain what it is, what its uses are and the cultivable hybrids that exist of it. In addition, we will talk a little about its basic care so that you can grow it yourself at home.
What is Pelargonium radens?
The gender Pelargonium is part of the family of Geraniaceae and is made up of more than two hundred different species, including the pelargonium radens. All of them are succulent, herbaceous plants and also shrubs whose origin is from South Africa, at least the vast majority. the species bornspecifically, it is found mainly in the eastern and southern Cape, in South Africa. There it usually grows in gorges and ravines near streams. It is also common to find these flowers on the slopes of the mountains, among the bushes.
Its scientific name comes from the Greek. In this language, the word “Pelargos” is translated as “stork”, in reference to the similarity that its fruits have with this animal. As for “radens”, this word refers to the rough leaves of this plant. Another name by which the Pelargoniums radens es “scented-leaved geranium.”
It should be noted that the pelargonium radens it is a perennial plant whose growth is quite fast, being able to reach a height of up to a meter and a half. Its leaves are triangular in shape and, if squeezed, are quite aromatic. They are divided into fine, toothed green lobes.
The flowering season of this vegetable begins in early spring and lasts until autumn. Thus, its beautiful purple and pink flowers can be enjoyed throughout the summer season. These are small and are grouped in clusters. The seeds they have are small and brown.
As with many plant species today, There are several cultivable hybrids of the pelargonium radens, such as the following:
- Candy Dancer: It stands out for having an aroma of roses. The flowers of this hybrid are not as marked as those of the other species.
- Crowfoot: This variety has an aroma of roses and mint.
- Dr Livingston: Also known as Skeleton Rose. It has a scent of roses, but its leaves are less dissected than in the other varieties of Pelargonium.
- Radula: Another rose-scented hybrid. It is usually considered as a synonym or clone of the original species, that is, of the Radiant Pelargonium
- Red Flowered Rose: It is possibly a hybrid between the P. shaving and another species whose aroma is roses. The main characteristic of this variety is that the flowers have a pink and reddish color.
- Pelargonium x asperum: It is a hybrid between pelargonium radens y pelargonium capitatealso with a rose scent. This is the most used variety in the perfume industry. Of course, we should not confuse it with the Pelargonium Asperumwhich also has a very sweet smell.
Traditionally, the leaves of pelargonium radens They were used to flavor certain foods. such as jellies and herbal teas. An essential oil can also be extracted from both the flowers and the leaves that can be used as a food additive and flavoring. It is often called geranium oil or rose geranium oil. It is important to note that only small amounts of this seasoning should be used.
Although it is true that it can be used at a culinary level, the most common use of this plant is ornamental, especially for interiors. It is usually grown in borders, pots, beds and window boxes. They are really spectacular on terraces, balconies and patios. But we can also plant this variety of Pelargonium on the ground in our garden. Be that as it may, we must provide it with all the care it needs to be able to enjoy its beautiful flowers and sweet fragrances.
Pelargonium shaving: Care
Now that we know a little more about the pelargonium radenswe are going to comment on the care that this beautiful plant requires. Luckily, he is not a very demanding person, and besides It is very resistant to the most common pests and diseases. Below we will list all the aspects that we must take into account for its cultivation:
- Location: Ideally, locate this plant in full sun. Although it is true that it can live perfectly in semi-shade, it is important to note that it will flower less.
- Temperature: It prefers warm temperatures, typical of South Africa. However, it can resist frosts up to three degrees below zero.
- Ground: It is vital for the plant that the soil is not calcareous. It is best to use a mixture of clay, coarse sand and forest soil. As for the pot transplant, this should be carried out annually, specifically in early spring.
- Irrigation: To properly maintain this vegetable, it is essential to water it every day in summer and a little less in spring. The rest of the year it is enough to water whenever the soil dries up.
- Fertilizer: When fertilizing, the most advisable thing is to do it with organic matter, such as compost or manure. This task should be done in early spring or late winter.
- Pruning: The ideal time to prune this plant is when the flowering season is over, in autumn. Of course, the pruning should be light.
- Reproduction: If we want to grow more specimens of pelargonium radenswe can propagate it by sowing its seeds in the fall. Another option is to reproduce it through cuttings. To do this, we place them in a sandy substrate in autumn, spring or summer and wait for them to take root.
As you can see, it is not complicated to grow this beautiful plant. If we provide it with the basic care it needs, we can enjoy its fragrance and beautiful flowers throughout the summer.