Subcaulenscens

"Subcaulenscens"
Black-eyed Magenta Crane's-bill


"Ah, you're drunk, you're drunk,
you silly old fool, still you cannot see
they're two lovely geranium pots
me mother sent to me.
Well, it's many a day I've travelled
a hundred miles or more
but laces in geranium pots
I never saw before."

-traditional Irish
drinking ballad

   

Geranium cinereum is native to the Pyrenees, but the subspecies, G. cinereum ssp subcaulescens var subcaulescens (sometimes listed as G. subcaulescens), is native to the Balkans, Italy, & Turkey. As a wild-flower it naturalizes with ease & will self-seed, but is not invasive.

This subspecies is a recipient of the Award of Garden Merit, standing out for its unusually bright-bright carmine-magenta flowers, black at the base of each petal, attractive to butterflies & other pollinators. These flowers are one-inch small but numerous & intense especially in May & June, with slight to moderate reflowering throughout summer right up to September or first frost.

Grey-green foliage is of the "dove's foot" or "crow's foot" variety, small, round, deeply cut. The foliage frequently has very nice autumn colors. In our zone it attempts to be evergreen but gets awfully beaten up before winter's end & whatever remains of it should be clipped off before spring regrowth. It is very cold-hardy although in winters that reach ten below zero Fahreheit or colder, it won't evince its semi-evergreen potential.

It's a sun-loving geranium that will not bloom as well if much shaded. It also requires sharp drainage. It is somewhat drought-hardy if not subjected to droughtiness too long at a time or too often. It is more suited to rock gardens than most crane's-bills because it remains short (six or eight inches tall) & is therefore less inclined to overwhelm neighboring short groundcovers than is the case with big & large-leaf species of crane's-bills.

See also these Greyleaf crane's-bills:
Geranium cinereum 'Lawrence Flatman'
Geranium cinereum 'Ravpil' aka 'Purple Pillow'

   



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