Botanist's Glossary

Geranium - Pelargonium graveolens

  • Description
    • Pelargonium graveolens (Geraniaceae family), also known as "rose geranium", originally comes from South Africa (where over 200 species of pelargonium grow). It is a perennial plant that can grow to a height of 1.2 meters. It has hairy, leaf-covered stems, pink flowers streaked with purple, and triangular leaves that are very fragrant when rubbed, with a scent reminiscent of that of Damask roses.
  • Traditions
    • Pelargonium graveolens (also called "Bourbon geranium") was introduced into Réunion island in 1870, where geranium growing shaped the landscape for a century. But production, once prosperous, continues to decline. The quality of the essential oil from Réunion Island is greatly superior to that produced anywhere else in the world. Rose geranium essence is sought after by the greatest perfumers. It has remarkable healing properties.
  • Properties
    • The essential oil is extracted from the flowers by steam distillation. It has restorative, antiseptic and astringent properties. With its floral scent, it is included in the formulation of relaxing products. It may also be used for its mosquito-repelling properties.