Botanical Name: Pelargonium tomentosum
Species: P. tomentosum
Common Name: Peppermint Geranium
Habitat: Pelargonium tomentosum is native to South Africa. It is in the subgenus Pelargonium along with Pelargonium graveolens, Pelargonium crispum and Pelargonium capitatum. It grows in Semi-shaded moist places. Sandy soils on the margins of forests along streams.
Pelargonium tomentosum is a tall, spreading species which grows up to a metre wide and a metre high. It is a very soft, hairy plant with a strong mint scent (due to the menthone in the leaves) and small white flowers. . It is in leaf all year, in flower from May to July. The leaves are green-grey in colour with a wide, three-lobed shape.
Requires a light well-drained neutral to alkaline soil in a sunny position. This species dislikes full sun. Plants are not very cold-hardy in Britain, tolerating temperatures down to about 0°c. They generally require greenhouse protection but might succeed outdoors when grown in a very sheltered warm spot in the mildest parts of the country. They can also be grown in containers that are placed outdoors in the summer and then brought into the greenhouse or conservatory for the winter. The plants need to be kept fairly dry in the winter. Very tolerant of pruning, they can be cut right down to the base in the autumn when bringing them back indoors, or in the spring to encourage lots of fresh growth. The leaves and the stems release a strong scent of peppermint when they are touched. There are some named varieties selected for their ornamental value.
The leaves and flowers have a strong mint scent and are used for flavouring cakes, puddings, pies, biscuits etc. A peppermint-flavoured tea is infused from the fresh leaves.
All parts of the plant are astringent. The fresh leaves are used externally as a poultice for bruises and sprains. Due to the astringent characteristics of the oils in its leaves, a poultice can be made to treat sprains or bruises. It is also works like mint for treating sore throats if the menthol is obtained correctly. Thirdly the leaves are very aromatic and can be used in potpourri.
Other Uses:As well as being a houseplant or outdoor perennial depending on climate.
Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.