Geranium clarkei
Common Name: hardy geranium
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Geraniaceae
Native Range: Kashmir
Zone: 5 to 7
Height: 1.00 to 1.50 feet
Spread: 1.00 to 1.50 feet
Bloom Time: June to July
Bloom Description: Purple-violet or white
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Medium
Suggested Use: Naturalize
Flower: Showy
Attracts: Butterflies
Tolerate: Rabbit, Deer

Culture

Easily grown in average, medium, well-drained soil in full sun to part shade. Prefers moist, humusy, well-drained soils, particularly in hot summer climates. Intolerant of drought. Performs best in cool summer climates, and is intolerant of the heat and humidity of the deep South. Shear off spent flowers after bloom to encourage additional bloom or tidy the planting. In the alternative, plants may be left alone after flowering to promote self-seeding.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Geranium clarkei is a rhizomatous hardy geranium that is native to alpine meadows in the mountains of Kashmir. It typically grows in a clump to 18" tall, spreading outward by creeping stems to 18" wide. Purple-violet or white, upward-facing flowers (to 3/4" diameter) with contrasting dark veins profusely bloom from late spring to early summer. Dark green leaves are deeply cut into 7 segments and form an attractive foliage mat.

Genus name comes from the Greek word geranos meaning crane in reference to the fruit which purportedly resembles the head and beak of a crane.

Problems

No serious insect or disease problems.

Garden Uses

Border fronts, rock gardens, cottage gardens or wild gardens. Best in groups or massed as a ground cover. Also an effective edger.