Pelargonium sidoides

Black Pelargonium - Pelargonium sidoides
Black Pelargonium Pelargonium sidoides e1587201070714
Black Pelargonium Pelargonium sidoides e1587201070714

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

The black pelargonium, Pelargonium sidoides, is a striking plant with velvety silver leaves and dark purple flowers that resemble black butterflies. It is native to South Africa, where it grows in grasslands and rocky soils. It has a long history of medicinal use by various cultures, especially for respiratory infections. It is also a source of the German remedy called umckaloabo. This plant is easy to grow in sunny rockeries or pots, and can survive droughts and frosts by going dormant. It can be propagated by seeds or cuttings.

Uses & Benefits: medicine, pot plant, small garden


Nature & Cultivation

Family: Geraniaceae
Type: ground cover
Vegetation type:  
Flower colour: red
Flowering season: 
Plant-animal interactions: bees
Red list status:

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

Use as Medicine

Safety: no safety concerns

Herbal traditions: Cape Herbal Medicine
Plant parts used: rhizomes

First-aid use: bronchitis, cough, diarrhoea, dysentery 
Medical use:  
Veterinary use:  

Plant qualities: 
Plant actions: astringent, decongestant
Phytochemical constituents: tannins

Plant preparations: capsules, decoction, extract, powder, tincture


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