Cranesbill - Geranium
Cranesbill, or hardy geraniums, are hardy perennial flowering plants that grow mostly in temperate regions. Commonly found in the eastern parts of Mediterranean, these plants are highly adaptive and flower profusely from late spring till fall. Their long, lobed leaf is as attractive as the flower itself. The flowers are dainty, five-petaled, cup-shaped, symmetric and come in a wide range of colors like white, purple, pink and blue. They got the common name 'Cranesbill' because of the shape of their fruit capsule with its long column, which looks like the bill of a crane. They are often confused with the other container plants called Scented Geraniums, which are less hardy and belong to an altogether different genus called Pelargonium. Cranesbills height ranges from 5 inches to 5 foot. Since they grow as wildflowers all over the world, they are adaptable to a wide range of climates. So, there is a geranium plant for every type of garden. They are suitable for a broad array of climate zones from USDA Hardiness zone 1 (below -50°F) to hot weathers of California. They thrive very well in consistently moist and well-drained soils when first planted. They become drought resistant and require minimum maintenance once established. They flourish in both sunny and shady locations and are pest and disease resistant. Hardy Geraniums are very easy to plant and propagate. Most geraniums are self-seeding in damp conditions and require low maintenance. All it needs to spread abundantly is a fertile, moist, well-drained soil. It can survive through short periods of drought and lay dormant during extreme cold conditions of winter. Once these extreme conditions pass over, they start blooming without any need of maintenance. Their mounding habit makes them an ideal choice for the landscapers to use them as a ground cover. Some of them make perfect border plants. They also serve well as a backdrop in rock gardens. They brighten up the garden with their colorful flowers and blend in perfectly with other shrubs. If you are looking for a low maintenance plant which can glide through all the seasons looking great, then you should consider planting Cranesbills.