Hardy Geranium (Full sun; Part Shade)

Hardy Geranium (Geranium sanguineum)
Cranesbills, often called Hardy Geraniums, is a group herbs boasting mounds of dainty, but dense foliage punctuated by small colorful flowers. Bloodred Cranesbill is one of the most popular cranesbills. It is a vigorous, reliable plant that is easy to grow and useful in residential yards and gardens. It requires very little attention and is rarely bothered by pests or disease problems.

Height and Spread - Bloodred cranesbill spreads by way of trailing stems which may extend 2 feet or more. The plant develops mounded clumps of finely divided foliage about 12 inches high. Low growing forms rise to only 6 inches or so. The clumps spread every year, reaching several feet in diameter after 4 years, when it is wise to divide them.

Flowers - Cranesbill flowers begin to bloom in late spring. The saucer shaped blossoms have 5 petals and are 1 to 1 1/2 inches wide. They bloom individually at the ends of fine, hairy stems above the mounded foliage until mid-summer. Flowers are mostly bright magenta, but some varieties offer pink, deep pink, or white flowers with reddish veins. If spent blossoms are promptly removed from the plant, it will often extend its bloom period, an occasional flower appearing as late as September. These plants get their name from the beakshaped capsules which form after flowering. When mature they pop open, releasing seed.

Foliage - Cranesbill foliage buds develop along a web of tangled, branched reddish stems. The leaves are attractive, and durable, featuring 5 or 7 deeply divided segments, each segment showing 3 lobes. Foliage is medium green, turning red or maroon in the fall when frost arrives.

Better Varieties
`Album' has a looser habit, white flowers;
`Shepherd's Warning' has reddish pink flowers;
`Striatum lancastriense' has pale pink flowers with red veins;
`Prostratum' has deep rose flowers, flat growing.

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