Rose Geranium Flowers
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Rose Geranium averages 1.2 meters tall and branches out into a bushy form 1 meter wide. It has deeply furled leaves that have a velvety layer of fine hairs on the surface. The blossoms are smaller than those of the common geranium and are pink or lavender with deep purple veins. They are composed of five fused petals and clustered in umbels. Rose Geranium has a clear rose scent with undertones of lilac, citrus and lemongrass.
Rose Geranium is available early spring through summer.
Rose Geranium, Pelargonium graveolens, is an aromatic evergreen shrub, graveolens means “highly scented” in Latin. Although the entire plant is edible, most of the scent comes from oils in the leaves rather than the flowers. There are almost 800 species of geranium, 200 of which are of the scented variety ranging in fragrance from citrus, mint, nutmeg, coconut, juniper and apple. Rose Geranium is used in culinary applications, herbal medicine, cosmetic products, natural insecticides and aromatherapy.
Rose Geranium has astringent, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties. It may be used to control internal or external bleeding, treat skin conditions and ease sore throats. Essential oils derived from the plant’s leaves and blossoms are used in aromatherapy as a relaxant and anti-depressant.
Both the leaves and flowers of Rose Geraniums are best used in sweet applications. The flowers offer a more delicate texture and mild flavor. They may be used to make jelly, jam, ice cream, cakes, icing and even liqueur. Add Rose Geranium to plain sugar and infuse for a few weeks. The scented sugar may be used in baking recipes or to sweeten herbal teas. Line a cake tin with leaves and flowers before pouring in the batter to slightly perfume to the cake as it bakes. Rose Geranium compliments rhubarb, lemon, lime, grapefruit, plum, blueberry, blackberry, strawberry, rose petal, cardamom, custard, buttermilk and vanilla.
Rose Geranium is native to South Africa. It is both heat and drought tolerant, but does not stand prolonged exposure to frost. It requires full sun and thrives in sandy soils with low moisture levels. Rose Geranium has been naturalized in temperate climates around the world and does well in containers, hanging baskets or pruned as a hedge.
Recipes that include Rose Geranium Flowers. One is easiest, three is harder.