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Horseshoe Geraniums & Deodar Cedar

Through our virtual programming series, Nature in your Neighborhood, we challenged volunteers to go out into their neighborhoods or backyards to see what plants sparked their interest. Whether plants are native or non native, we can all appreciate a connection to nature and the curiosity that it can spark!

By: Minh-Nha Kawamura

Horseshoe Geraniums

Scientific Name: Pelargonium zonale

Description: The horseshoe geranium is an ornamental shrub. It is a perennial (survives for longer than two years) and its flowers are commonly white, bright pink, deep red or a mixture of these colors. The flowers bloom in the summer, and the geranium has leaves year round.

Origin: This plant originated in South Africa. It is non-native in California, but is not considered an invasive species.

Name History: This plant gets its name from the black horseshoe shaped rings on its leaves.

Uses: The horseshoe geranium is used to decorate gardens and houses. It’s flowers grow in clusters (called umbels) and create vibrant bursts of color. It’s leaves and flowers are edible and can be used to flavor food. An essential oil can be obtained from the plant, and all parts of the plant can be used as an astringent. An astringent is applied to the skin like a lotion and helps to constrict skin cells which can reduce minor bleeding and oiliness.