Geranium subcaulescens

Common Name: hardy geranium 
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Geraniaceae
Native Range: Italy, Balkans, Turkey
Zone: 5 to 7
Height: 0.50 to 0.75 feet
Spread: 0.75 to 1.00 feet
Bloom Time: April to June
Bloom Description: Deep magenta with black center
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Dry to medium
Maintenance: Medium
Suggested Use: Naturalize
Flower: Showy
Attracts: Butterflies
Tolerate: Rabbit, Deer, Drought

Culture

Easily grown in average, dry to medium moisture, well-drained soil in full sun to part shade. Tolerates some drought, but prefers moist, humusy, well-drained soils, particularly in hot summer climates. 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 since G. subcaulescens comes true from seed though cultivars many not come true.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Geranium subcaulescens is a stemless, low-mounded, rosette-forming hardy geranium that is native to Italy, the Balkans and Turkey. It typically grows to 8” tall and to 12” or more wide with magenta flowers (1” diameter) and rounded dark gray-green leaves (each having 5-7 wedge-shaped lobes). Flowers appear in spring for a period of 6-7 weeks, with a possible sparse rebloom occurring in fall. This plant is synonymous with and formerly known as Geranium cinereum var. subcaulescens.

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.

Specific epithet means without much of a stem.

Problems

No serious insect or disease problems.

Uses

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