The birch-leaved pelargonium or kanferblaar (Afrikaans) is a shrublet with woody stems and light green ovate leaves. The leaves are wavy, leathery and serrated with the tips tinged red. Their petioles are rigid, about 1 cm in length. The specific name refers to the resemblance to European birch tree leaves. The kanferblaar name is derived from the camphor scent that the leaves exude when crushed.
The flowers are large and attractive. Flower colour varies from pink, purple to white. Dark markings occur on the upper two petals only. The blooming occurs chiefly in late winter and spring. There are seven stamens that have orange anthers.
Pelargonium betulinum contains essential oils. It is known for medicinal properties in the treatment of coughs, bronchitis and some stomach disorders. This has brought about another Afrikaans name of maagpynbossie or little stomach ache bush. The plant grows on coastal dunes in the south of the Western Cape from Yzerfontein to Knysna, where it naturally hybridizes with P. cucullatum (www.plantzafrica.com).