This erect or scrambling softly woody shrub, usually grows up to 1 m but it can reach heights of 3 m. The branches are almost succulent and are usually covered with hairs, while the older stems harden with age. The large leaves are often smooth and a characteristic dark horseshoe-shaped mark is often present. The flower colour ranges from rose-pink to all shades of red as well as pure white. The distinctly irregular flowers are borne in a typically umbel-like inflorescence. Pelargonium zonale flowers throughout the year with a peak in spring (September-November).