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Products > Geranium maderense 'Alba'
 
Geranium maderense 'Alba' - White Madeira Island Geranium
   

[2nd Image]
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Perennial
Family: Geraniaceae (Geraniums)
Origin: Madeira Islands (Atlantic Ocean)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: White
Bloomtime: Spring
Synonyms: [G. maderense 'Album']
Height: 4-5 feet
Width: 4-5 feet
Exposure: Sun or Shade
Summer Dry: Yes
Irrigation (H2O Info): Medium Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 25-30° F
Geranium maderense ‘Alba’ (White Madeira Island Geranium). This is a rare white flowering form of the giant geranium from the island of Madeira. As with the more common mauve-pink flower form, it is technically a biennial but has the large palmately dissected dark green leaves that make in an attractive plant even when not in bloom. The plant forms a mass of this foliage to about 3 feet tall and wide and when in flower in mid spring, it can reach to 5 feet tall with its massive many-branched inflorescence of white flowers, each with a pink central eye, that rises well above the foliage. The flowering stems and sepals are all covered with white hairs that catch the light and decorate the plant further and after flowering, these hairs remain attractive for several weeks. It will take coastal sun but in light shade in cool coastal gardens this plant is quite drought tolerant, even surviving in areas without any supplemental irrigation. It is hardy to about 25 degrees - much below this and tip foliage wilts but plants survive and still bloom. Flowering usually commences on a 2 year old seedling but sometimes lingers to a third. Cut back when plants topple from the weight of the spent flowers but be sure to spread the seed for the next year. In the following year one can enjoy the foliage, then thin out the seedlings as they approach blooming time but use care not to remove the lower leaves of the plants left as these act as stilts to support the tower of flowers to come. This form is also sometimes listed as Geranium maderense 'Album' but we list it as we received it as 'Alba'. For more information on the species, please see our listing of Geranium maderense. We first planted this form in our garden in 2012 in an area isolated from the many areas we have the species and collected seed from these plants the following year. We thank Santa Barbara garden designer Rose Keppler who first gave us the seed of this plant in 2011.  This description is based on research and observations of this plant as it grows in our nursery, in our nursery garden and in other gardens that we visit. We also incorporate comments received and appreciate getting feedback of any kind from those who have any additional information about this plant, particularly if they disagree with what we have written or if they have additional cultural tips that would aid others in growing Geranium maderense 'Alba'.