This charming Pelargonium is putting on a show of flower in the Dry Garden containers.
A South African native, Pelargonium sidoides is a perennial species which will survive winter if given a permanent, hot, sunny, well-drained position in the garden. Here it is grown for summer colour, and will be overwintered in a cold greenhouse, where it will be kept relatively dry. It is a delicate plant reaching 30cm in height, whose long-stalked, velvety, scalloped foliage makes stunning contrast with the deep burgundy flowers. The thickened, underground, root-like branches are an adaptation to surviving grass fires, which occur throughout much of it’s range in the eastern Cape, Lesotho, Free State and southern and south-western Gauteng of South Africa, at altitudes up to 2300m. An extract from the roots has long been used in traditional herbal medicine to treat colds and flus.