Geranium sanguineum 'Max Frei'

Tried and Trouble-free Recommended by 6 Professionals
Common Name: bloody cranesbill
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Geraniaceae
Zone: 3 to 8
Height: 0.50 to 0.75 feet
Spread: 0.75 to 2.00 feet
Bloom Time: May to June
Bloom Description: Reddish-purple
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Flower: Showy
Leaf: Good Fall
Attracts: Butterflies
Tolerate: Rabbit, Deer, Clay Soil


Easily grown in average, medium moisture, well-drained soil in full sun to part shade. Tolerates some drought, but performs best in moist, humusy soils with good drainage. Deadheading is tedious for larger plantings and probably unnecessary. Side stems may be removed at any time to control spread. If flowers are not deadheaded, some self-seeding may occur in ideal growing conditions, however the new plants may not come true from seed particularly if other hardy geranium cultivars are growing in the same area. Foliage may decline after flowering in hot summer climates, at which point plants may be lightly sheared back and shaped to revitalize.

Noteworthy Characteristics

‘Max Frei’ is a hardy geranium cultivar that is noted for its compact growth habit and reddish-purple flowers. It typically forms a spreading mound of foliage typically growing 4-9” tall and spreading 12-24” wide. It features 5-petaled, reddish-purple flowers and deeply-lobed, dark green leaves. Primarily blooms in May and June with a sparser rebloom occurring throughout the summer. Foliage often turns attractive shades of red in autumn. The species is sometimes commonly called bloody cranesbill in reference to its deep purple/crimson flowers and crane-like seed heads.


No serious insect or disease problems. Some susceptibility to leaf spots and rusts.

Garden Uses

Rock gardens or borders. Mass for ground cover.