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Plant Information

Scientific Name: Pelargonium reniforme
Alternative Names: Rooi Rabas (Afr), iYeza lezikhali, iKhubalo (Xhosa), Umckaloaba (Zu).

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Pelargonium reniforme
Pelargonium reniforme


  • Perennial
  • Pelargonium reniforme is indigenous to the Eastern Cape - growing from Kynsna eastwards to Umtata.
  • It is an evergreen, small, upright perennial shrub with tuberous roots of which the foliage mounds 25cm x 30cm.
  • It has a short main stem with soft, downy branches and hairy, grayish green scalloped leaves with a velvet-like texture.
  • Flowers are borne in 3- or more-flowered umbel-like inflorescences and the color vary from pink to magenta with a darker spot and stripes on the upper 2 petals.
  • Pelargonium reniforme is frost hardy and flowers throughout the year.
  • It needs well-drained soil and full sun - if watered occasionally it will grow quickly as a ground cover.
  • In hotter, drier positions the leaves will be smaller and greyer and the plants will grow in tighter clusters.
  • Cut off old flower-heads regularly and remove dead leaves and old flower stalks in winter.
  • It is resistant to the usual diseases that affect hybrid pelargonium's.

Parts Used

  • The leaves and roots.

Medicinal Uses. It is said that

  • Pelargonium reniforme was traditionally used by the Khoi/San and Xhosa to cure stomach ailments, bronchitis, dysentery and blood in the stool.
  • An infusion of the leaves is used for kidney and bladder ailments, nausea, gonorrhea, diarrhea and dysentery.
  • Eaten raw as a vegetable it will treat dysentery, nausea, vomiting and fever.
  • Bruised leaves are used as a poultice to soothe skin rashes and a root decoction is made for severe diarrhea.
  • The powdered root is mixed with food for dysentery and added to a leaf paste it is used for wounds.
The information contained within this website is for educational purposes only. This site merely recounts the traditional uses of specific plants as recorded through history. Always seek advice from a medical practitioner.

Mountain Herb Estate, and its representatives will not be held responsible for the improper use of any plants or documentation provided. By use of this site and the information contained herein you agree to hold harmless Mountain Herb Estate, its affiliates and staff

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