Perry's Perennial Pages

Geranium maculatum 'Elizabeth Ann'

    Perennial of the Month-- May 2004 

(ger-aa' nee-um) (pronunciation at link, turn up volume if too low)

Common name: Elizabeth Ann perennial geranium

Family: Geranium, Geraniaceae

Height x width: 18-24" x 18-24"

Growth rate; habit: moderate (vigorous in ideal conditions), loosely upright to slightly rambling

Foliage: dark chocolate brown, up to 6" across, deeply cut into about 5 narrow sections, green midribs

Flowers: lilac-pink 1 to 1/5" across, striking contast above dark foliage; late spring

Hardiness: USDA zones 3-7

Soil: average well-drained,  tolerates extremes of slightly wet or dry

Light: north--sun, part shade, south and west--part shade best

Pests and problems: none serious

Landscape habit, uses: color for shade, borders, woodland, native gardens; combines well with lungworts, silver bugloss, trollius (mild summer climates), variegated sedges, Phlox Becky Towe, underplanted with Vinca Illumination

Other interest: selection from Leslie Grayson garden of the mid-Atlantic, named for owner's niece; genus name from Greek word for crane, refering to the resemblance of the beaked fruit to a crane's bill or beak; species native to the NE US; cultivar 'Espresso' from Northcreek Nurseries (PA) is similar only with smaller flowers but darker foliage

Other culture: moist soil best in hot climates

Propagation: home--division, commercial--patented, through licensed propagators

Sources: local and mail-order specialty nurseries or complete garden centers;  commercially available from licensed propagators through Plant Haven, Geraniaceae, Sunny Border nurseries

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