Pelargonium capitatum, the rose-scented pelargonium or kusmalva in Afrikaans, grows to heights around 30 cm and spreads its many rambling branches more than a metre wide.
The two upper petals of the zygomorphic flower are larger than the lower three, marked with dark maroon lines on the pale pink to purple petal surfaces. The aromatic leaves are variably lobed or rounded, crinkled and toothed.
Some dense clusters of developing flower umbels are visible above the leaves, growing on sturdy maroon peduncles covered in downy white hairs.
The species distribution is coastal in a narrow sense, from Lamberts Bay in the Western Cape, through the Eastern Cape to KwaZulu-Natal.
The habitat is flats and dunes, also among rocks. The species is not considered to be threatened in its habitat early in the twenty first century.
It is cultivated commercially for pelargonium oil and planted as an ornamental shrublet (Manning, 2009; www.plantzafrica.com; http://redlist.sanbi.org).