Geranium cinereum var. subcaulescens (Black-Eyed Magenta Cranesbill)

Geranium cinereum var. subcaulescens (Black-Eyed Magenta Cranesbill)

Dainty, brilliant magenta flowers marked with black centers above lacy, dark green foliage. Red foliage in fall on this outstanding, long blooming addition to borders or rock gardens. Herbaceous perennial. Spreading mound 6 to 8 in. tall, 12 to 15 in. wide.

Care Information

Follow a regular watering schedule during the first growing season to establish a deep, extensive root system. As a groundcover, space plants 2 ft. to 3 ft. apart, (closer for faster coverage). Control weeds with mulch until the plants cover the area.

Design Ideas

Small mounding perennials are our most versatile plants because they can double as both seasonal color and as weed-choking groundcover. Use these spreaders to fill in gaps between shrubs or as edging around water gardens. Use the same way to quickly clean up irregular lawn edges. Perfect for rock gardens, banks, raised planters and above retaining walls.

Companion Plants

Mix this plant with its relatives for a patchwork of color. Blends well with the pink Ballerina Cranesbill (Geranium cinereum ‘Ballerina’) or White Cranesbill (Geranium sanguineum ‘Album’). Also a natural with the white flowering Little Gem Candytuft (Iberis sempervirens ‘Little Gem’), Pink Heron’s-bill (Erodium corsicum ‘Pink’) and Emerald Blue Creeping Phlox (Phlox subulata ‘Emerald Blue’).

History

This species is native to the Balkans, Italy and Turkey’. This variety proved so superior it was awarded the Garden of Merit award in England. The genus contains over 260 species named from the Greek for crane due to the similarity of the seed pods to the shape of that bird’s beak.

Lore

Cranesbill was a medicinal plant, with the root or rhizome valued for its tannin content which remained a household remedy for dysentery and listed in the U. S. Pharmacopoeia until 1916.