Geranium Perennials

Written by Helen Glenn Court
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Cranesbill geranium perennials (Geranium sanguineum) include upright, spreading, and mounding plants that are a beautiful addition to any garden design. Only distantly related to the annual geranium (G. pelargonium), they look nothing like it. Cranesbill can take full or partial sun, and do well in borders and rock gardens, as ground covers and in shade gardens.

The flowers of geranium perennials are characterized by five petals and most often blossom in colors ranging from blue to red. Cream and white flowers are less common. Leaves are either kidney-shaped or somewhat round, and either slightly or deeply lobed.

Cottage gardens have grown especially popular in the last decade. They have edged out over the more formal gardens in part because they are both more flexible and easier. A welcome addition to this more informal style, cranesbill geranium perennials offer a wide variety of design possibilities.

Varieties of Geranium Perennials

Biokovo (G. x cantabrigiense) produces white flowers that stand out dramatically from its dark green foliage. Standing at about six to eight inches, Biokovo needs partial rather than full sun. Like most cranesbill, it is resistant to deer and rabbits and attractive to butterflies and bees. Johnson's Blue, which reaches 18 inches at maturity, has sky blue flowers that fade to gray. Trailing cranesbill (Ann Folkard) is very distinctive crisp little chartreuse to purple flowers slightly sparse against palmate leaves. It does well in cooler climates and moist soil, and is used as a ground cover.

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