Geranium sanguineum (Cranesbill) - This bushy low-growing perennial forms tight 1 to 1 ½ foot tall mounds of 2-4-inch-wide leaves that are divided into 5 to 7 segments which in turn are 3 lobed. Although often referred to as the Bloody Cranesbill, in reference to its dark red flower forms and winter foliage color, the form we grow has fuchsia-colored flowers and we rarely get cold enough to see much fall color in the foliage. Flowering commences in late spring and continues through summer. It will occasionally reseed in the irrigated garden but certainly is not weedy.
Plant in full sun to light shade and water regularly to occasionally. It is cold hardy to USDA Zone 5, taking temperatures down to near 0 degrees F.
Geranium sanguineum comes from rocky and sandy soils throughout much of southern Europe into Turkey. The etymology of the genus name Geranium, and the family Geraniaceae, is derived from the Greek word, 'geranos' which means "crane" from the seed capsule's resemblance to beak of this bird. It is a large genus with over 430 species distributed throughout most of the world, except in lowland tropical areas. The specific Latin name sanguineum means blood red in reference to the typical flower color of the species and the color of the leaves in fall. We have been growing this great little plant since 1983.
Information about Geranium sanguineum displayed on this page is based on our research about it conducted in our library and gathered from reliable online sources. We include observations made of this plant as it grows in our nursery gardens and in other gardens that we have visited, as well as how the crops have performed in containers in our own nursery field. We will also incorporate comments that we receive from others about this plant when we feel it adds information and particularly welcome hearing from anyone who has any additional cultural recommendations that would aid others in growing it.