Geranium_cinereumAlso called ashy cranebill, this semi-evergreen herbaceous perennial is native to the Pyrennes. It is a member of the Geraniaceae family that also includes the common bedding plant called geranium but that belongs to the genus Pelargonium. The low growing plants form mounds of grey-green foliage with leaves that are up to 1 ½ inches long and have five to seven wedge-shaped lobes divided almost to the base. The cup-shaped flowers are about one inch across, purplish pink with dark centers and veins, and appear from spring into summer. Several outstanding cultivars are available that vary in color from white to magenta. The low growing habit of the plant makes it useful at the front of the border, as a ground cover, and in rock gardens. Plants do better in the cooler part of their range.

Type: Herbaceous perennial

Bloom: Cup-shaped, one inch wide, pink flowers with dark centers and veining from spring into summer

Size: 6-12” H x 12” W

Light: Full sun to part shade with shade needed in the warmer part of its range

Soil: Average, dry to medium moist, well-drained

Hardiness: Zones 5-7

Care: Low maintenance

Pests and Diseases: None of significance

Propagation: Division, stem cuttings, seed

Companion plants: Alpine pinks, blue fescue, bugleweed, especially varieties with purple t inged foliage, columbine, coral bells, speedwell (Veronica spp.)

Outstanding Selections:
‘Alba’ (white)
‘Ballerina’ ( 2’ lilac-pink flowers with dark centers and purple veining; long bloom time)
‘Giuseppii’ (deep magenta flowers)
‘Lawrence Flatman’ (similar to Ballerina butmore vigorous)

By Karen