Pelargonium sidoides is a plant native to South Africa.
Common names: black pelargonium (Eng.) kalwerbossie, rabassam (Afr.), ikubalo, iyeza lesikhali (Xhosa), khoara-e-nyenyane (Southern Sotho), umckaloabo (German remedy)
A tufted pelargonium with velvety silver leaves and almost black flowers that is a well known medicinal plant in South Africa. The plant is an evergreen in cultivation, but dies back in nature during droughts and in winter. The system of thickened underground root-like branches is a special adaptation which enables the plant to survive grass fires which occur almost annually over much of its range. Pelargonium sidoides can be planted in rockeries in full sun. It is also an excellent pot plant.
Pelargonium sidoides Medicinal Benefits
This plant has long been used in South African traditional medicine.
When used in traditional African medicine, the South African geranium is often referred to as umckaloabo, kaloba, or umcka.
- The root of the plant is typically distilled into an extract and used in cough and cold remedies to alleviate symptoms and reduce the duration of illness.
- It can help fight upper respiratory tract infections, including the common cold, bronchitis, and sinusitis.
Growing Pelargonium sidoides
This plant needs less water during winter and watering should be increased at the beginning of summer (November to March). Top dressing with a slow release fertilizer in spring will improve growth and flowering in summer. In winter, dead leaves and old flower stalks should be removed from the plant.
This plant is easily propagated from seed or by means of basal cuttings in autumn.
Information is for educational and informational purposes only and may not be construed as medical advice. The information is not intended to replace medical advice or treatment offered by healthcare professionals.