Geranium 

(ger-aa' nee-um)

Common name: Cranesbill, Perennial Geranium

Family: Geraniaceae, Geranium

Height x width: 6-18" x 12-24"

Growth rate, habit: moderate to fast; various upright to spreading

Foliage: generally circular outline with lobes, 1-2" wide, scattered hairs often on leaves and flower stems, turning reddish with frost, often scented

Flowers: pink to magenta or purple, midsummer, 1-1½" wide with 5 petals, single on axillary peduncles

Hardiness: 3 or 4-8

Soil: moist, organic and well-drained

Light: sun in cool climates, part shade in hot climates, sanguineum tolerates sun even in hot summers

Pests and problems: leaf spots, rusts, mosaic virus, Asiatic garden beetle, four-lined plant bug

Landscape habit, uses: borders, rock garden, groundcover, containers

Other interest: native to Europe and Asia; genus name from Greek word for crane, refering to the resemblance of the beaked fruit to a crane's bill or beak

Other culture: especially in hot climates moist soil is needed, moist soil promotes vigor and spread

Propagation: tip cuttings, division, seeds

Species:

•x cantabrigiense (can-tah-bri-gee-ense')--Cambridge Geranium, zones 4-7, 6-12" x 8-16", rose to pink flowers in spring and summer, hybrid from and named after Cambridge Univ. in England, from cross of macrorrhizum and dalmaticum in mid 1970's

•cinereum (si-nair' ee-um)--Grayleaf Cranesbill, zones 5-7, 6-12" x 12", red to pink flowers in spring with dark veins, native to the Pyrenees, var. subcaulescens has darker leaves, magenta petals and black stamens compared to var. cinereum

clarkei (clar-kee-ii')--Clarke's Geranium, zones 5-7, 15-20", violet to white flowers in spring with dark veins, native to Nepal; differs from pratense from which separated in 1985 being lower, more deeply cut leaves, more basal leaves and more open inflorescence

dalmaticum (dal-ma' ti-cum)--Dalmatian Cranesbill, zones 4-7, 4-8", pink flowers in late spring with 3 per stem, native to Balkan peninsula, trailing stems, spreads rapidly without being invasive, nice red to orange fall color

endressii (en-drees' see-ii)--Endress's Geranium, zones 4-7, 15-18", pink flowers in summer, 3-5" wide shiny green leaves, native to Pyrenees

•x ononianum (on-on-ee-aa' num)--Oxford Geranium, zones 5-7, 24-30", pink flowers with dark veins in summer, named by Yeo in 1985 for Oxford, England, cross of endressii and versicolor

•x riversleaianum (ri-ver-slee-aa-ee-aa' num)--zones 7-8, 12", magenta flowers, garden hybrid of endressii and traversii

•himalayense (hi-mal-aa-yense')--Lilac Geranium, zones 4-7, 10-15", lilac flowers in summer, native to northern Asia, large leaves 3-6", bright orange and red fall color, large 1½-2" across flowers saucer-shaped with red-purple veins for 4-6 weeks, plants tend to sprawl

ibericum (ii-beer' i-cum)--Caucasus Geranium, zones 6-7, 15-18", lavender blue flowers with purple veins in summer, native to Caucasus

macrorrhizum (ma-cror-rii' zum)--Bigroot Geranium, zones 3-8, 15-18", magenta flowers in spring, native to southern Europe, large leaves 6-8" across with characteristic scent, used as early as 1576 for oil of geranium, thick and fleshy vigorous root system

•x magnificum (mag-ni-fi-cum')--Showy Geranium, zones 3-8, 18-24", dark violet-blue flowers in summer, hybrid of ibericum and platypetalum and more virous than either tending to fall over in wind and rain

•x monacense (mo-nah-cense')--Munich Geranium, zones 5-7, 18-24", purple-red to pink mauve flowers in summer, hybrid of phaeum and reflexum

phaeum (fay' um)--Mourning Widow, zones 5-7, 18-24", dark maroon flowers in early summer suggest a "mourning widow", pistil and stamens are exserted, native to moist areas although thick roots allow survival in drought; var. lividum paler flowers occasionally streaked lilac

platypetalum (pla-tee-pe' tal-um)--Broad-petaled Geranium, zones 3-7, 18-24", deep violet flowers with reddish veins in late spring, native to the Caucasus, hairy leaves tolerate heat

renardii (re-nar' dee-ii)--zones 4-7, 10", white flowers with violet veins in summer, dull gray-green leaves with shallow lobes, native to the Caucasus

pratense (praa-tense')--Meadow Cranesbill, zones 5-7, 24-36", purple flowers from reddish veins on dark blue petals, native to northern Europe, may need staking, tolerates alkaline soils

psilostemon (siil-o-stem' on)--Armenian Geranium, zones 5-7, 24-48", magenta flowers with black centers in summer, native to Armenia, needs staking

sanguineum (san-gwin' ee-um)--Bloody Cranesbill, zones 3-8, 9-12", magenta flowers in spring, native to Europe and Asia, tolerates heat and drought; var. striatum ('Lancastriense') light pink with crimson veins, variable in commerce, 6-8" tall (photo courtesy Missouri botanical garden plantfinder)

wallichianum (wall-ik-ee-aa' num)--Wallich Geranium, zones 4-7, 6" spreading 2-3', purple flowers in late summer, native to Himalaya

sylvaticum (sill-va' ti-cum)--Wood Cranesbill, zones 5-8, 30-36", purple-violet flowers in spring, native to Europe
 
 

Cultivars:
 
Cultivars, other taxa species flowers other
'Album' cinereum white var. cinereum
'Album' macrorrhizum white, pink  
'Album' phaeum white, pink blush  
'Album' sanguineum white 10-18" tall
'Album' sylvaticum white light green leaves
'Ann Folkard'   purple, dark eye 15" tall, summer
'A.T. Johnson' x ononianum silver pink  
'Ballerina' cinereum pink, dark center, veins 4-6" tall, long bloom
'Bevan's Variety' macrorrhizum red, magenta 8-10" tall
'Biokovo' x cantabrigiense white, pink tinge 6-12" tall
'Biokovo Karmina' x cantabrigiense raspberry red 6-12" tall
'Birch Double':'Plenum' himalayense    
'Bressingham Flair' psilostemon magenta tinged pink 2' tall, sturdy
'Cambridge' x cantabrigiense purple-violet  
'Cedric Morris' sanguineum rosy-magenta, early 1-1½' tall
'Claridge Druce' x ononianum purple-pink, veined hairy, grayish foliage
'Czakor' macrorrhizum rose, magenta 15" tall
'Dilys'   purple, late prostrate stems
'Elsbeth' sanguineum bright purple, large 9" tall
'Galactic' pratense white, flat-topped 2' tall
'Giuseppii' cinereum magenta, central spot var. subcaulescens
'Glenluce' sanguineum pink, to 2" across compact
'Gravetye' himalayense blue, red center and veins 12" tall, compact
'Ingwersen's Variety' macrorrhizum pale pink glossy leaves
'Irish Blue' himalayense pale blue, purple center petals notched
'John Elsley' sanguineum magenta, large  
x 'Johnson's Blue'   blue less hardy, 15-18" tall
'Kashmir Purple' clarkei deep blue can grow from seed
'Kashmir White' clarkei white, pink veins 2" wide flowers
'Lady Moore' x ononianum light pink  
'Lancastriense': sanguineum var. striatum      
'Lawrence Flatman' cinereum pink, dark veins vigorous
'Lily Lovell' phaeum mauve light green leaves
'Mayflower' sylvaticum violet-blue, white base best of species
'Max Frei' sanguineum purple-pink, saucers compact
'Mrs. Kendall Clarke' pratense pale blue, rosy veins variable in commerce
'Philippe Vapelle'   blue 15", renardii foliage
'Phoebe Noble' x ononianum dark pink  
'Pindus' macrorrhizum rose, magenta lower than 'Czakor'
'Plenum' himalayense lavender, double long bloom
'Plenum Violaceum' pratense purple, double long bloom
'Rebecca Moss' x ononianum silver pink, no veins  
'Rose Clair' x ononianum rose-salmon similar to 'A.T. Johnson'
'Russell Pritchard' x riversleaianum magenta dull grayish, lobed foliage
'Shepherd's Warning' sanguineum deep rose-pink compact
'Sherwood' x ononianum light pink narrow petals
'Silver Queen' pratense silvery-blue 3' tall
'Southcombe Star' x ononianum bluish pink appears double, spreads
'Spessart' macrorrhizum dark pink to rose incorrect if white, pink
'Splendens' cinereum deep red, dark center 5-6", var. subcaulescens
'Striatum' pratense white spotted dark blue  
'Variegatum' macrorrhizum magenta leaves variegated cream
'Variegatum' phaeum dark maroon yellow margined leaves
'Wageningen' x ononianum coral compact
'Walter's Gift' x ononianum purple pink, veined bronze zoned foliage
'Wargrave Pink' x ononianum salmon pink notched petals
'Winscombe' x ononianum white to deep pink  


©Authored by Dr. Leonard Perry, Professor, University of Vermont as part of PSS123 course.

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