Black Pelargonium – Pelargonium sidoides

Black Pelargonium - Pelargonium sidoides

no known safety concerns

Common names: black pelargonium, umckaloabo (English); ikubalo, iyeza lesikhali (Xhosa); kalwerbossie, rabassam (Afrikaans). 
Botanical name: Pelargonium sidoides


Widely distributed in eastern parts of the country. Dark maroon to black flowers and a large red-fleshed tuber rich in tannins, giving the astringent effect.

Family: Geraniaceae
Attributes: ground cover
Flower colour: 
Flowering season: 
Plant-animal interactions: 
Conservation: Not threatened

Uses & Benefits

Traditionally root boiled in milk for extended period. As decoction for sore throats, congestion; digestive upsets – diarrhoea, dysentery, and to support recovery from protracted dysentery. German medicine umckaloabo for bronchitis.

Care & Cultivation

Likes full sun, water in summer. Propagate from seed, March to May.

Light-level: shade – semi, sun – afternoon, sun – full, sun – morning
Soil type: 
Soil pH: 

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