Scented geranium, despite the name, is not geranium at all. Their leaves look like Geranium leaves, and both plants belong to the same botanical family. However, scented geraniums are of the genus Pelargonium. They are native to the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa, where they grow throughout the year. In other places of cultivation such as the U.S and Canada, they may grow annually.
The leaves of scented geraniums have a somewhat spicy aroma with ginger, nutmeg and cinnamon undertones. There are more than fifty different varieties of scented geraniums, and not all of them are ideal for culinary uses. Usually, scented geraniums with rose, mint or lemon scents are used for cooking. Often times, they are only used for their flavour and aroma. This means that after their flavour is infused to the dish while cooking, they are removed before the dish is served. Sometimes, the fresh leaves of scented geraniums may be used as decorative garnish for a number of dishes.
Scented geraniums are commonly added in sweet dishes. For instance, rose varieties are used in baked goods such as cakes and biscuits, as well as in tea to add a sweet taste.