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Published: Thursday, June 13, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

Plant picks

  • Cranesbill produces lots of purple flowers in a long growing season.

    Richie Steffen / Great Plant Picks

    Cranesbill produces lots of purple flowers in a long growing season.

WHAT: Geranium wlassovianum, also known as cranesbill, is a hardy geranium noted for its good foliage throughout the growing season.
Its lobed, softly hairy leaves are reddish purple when they emerge in spring and turn dark green by summer.
Cut this perennial to the ground in late fall or early winter. It can be divided every three to four years in late winter to early spring.
WHY PLANT IT: From summer to fall, cranesbill produces 1-inch, purple-pink blossoms with white centers and darker veins. These long-lasting, funnel-shaped blooms are in loose clusters.
The flowers are produced in small quanitites, but it is one of the first and one of the last geraniums to bloom. Its leaves turn yellow then red in autumn,
WHERE: This hardy geranium prefers full sun but tolerates light or open shade with rich moist to well-drained soils. For the longest flowering and best bloom provide regular watering during prolonged dry spells.
SIZE: The compact cranesbill forms a leafy mound 24 inches high and wide.
LEARN MORE: www.greatplantpicks.org.
Story tags » Gardening

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