This sprawling shrublet is sweetly aromatic and is cultivated for its rose scented oils – hence the common name.
The whole plant, with the exception of the flowers, is covered with long soft white hairs which trap rain and dew-drops giving the plant a glistening appearance. Its leaves are cordate with lobed and crisped margins. The long stalk (peduncle) carries a brightly coloured inflorescence.
The genus Pelargonium gets its name from the fact that the shape its fruit looks like the beak of a stork, pelargos in Greek. The species name capitatus (Latin), refers to the head-like (capitate) inflorescence.