Geranium × oxonianum 'Thurstonianum'
Common Name: cranesbill
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Geraniaceae
Zone: 5 to 8
Height: 1.50 to 2.00 feet
Spread: 1.00 to 1.50 feet
Bloom Time: June to July
Bloom Description: Reddish purple
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Flower: Showy
Attracts: Butterflies
Tolerate: Rabbit, Deer

Culture

Easily grown in average, medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. Tolerates some drought, but prefers humusy, moderately fertile soils with regular and consistent moisture plus good soil drainage. Full sun is best in cool northern summer climates, but some part afternoon shade is appreciated in hot summer climates such as the St. Louis area. Deadheading is tedious for larger plantings and probably unnecessary. Foliage may decline after flowering in hot summer climates, at which point it should be cut back and shaped to revitalize, with additional sporadic rebloom sometimes occurring later in summer. Propagate by division.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Geranium x oxonianum is a fertile hybrid between G. endressii and G. versicolor. Cymes of pink flowers with darker veins bloom from late spring into summer on clumping plants featuring 5-lobed basal leaves.

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.

Hybrid name means of Oxford, England.

'Thurstonianum' features 1.5" diameter, reddish purple flowers each with 5 narrow, distinctively strap-shaped petals from late spring to early summer. Early flowers often produce petaloid stamens which can create a semi-double effect for the blooms. Lobed, dark green foliage is often blotched with chocolate.

Problems

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

Garden Uses

Border fronts or cottage gardens. Mass for ground cover. Edging. Rock gardens.