An early flowering hardy geranium with evergreen aromatic leaves beneath deep magenta flowers held in clusters. An excellent ground cover plant which is very good for dry shade but will grow equally well in sun and most soils.
Deeply cut, semi-evergreen foliage spreads quickly to form low hummocks that suppress weeds for most of the year.
The macrorrhizum family are superb ground cover plants in both sun and dry shade, being drought tolerant. The leaves are sticky and aromatic, smelling of sweetbriar and give brilliant autumn colour. 'Bevan's Variety' is a very reliable hybrid which can be grown in most soils.
Flowers in June and July. Attractive to bees.
Collected in 1961 by Dr Roger Bevan in the Balkans.
Height and Spread: 40 x 60cm
Myth and Legend
Apparently, the Prophet Mohammed, whilst resting beside a stream, decided to wash his shirt in the water. Having done so, he spread his shirt out to dry on a bed of mallows that grew close by and then lay down and slept. As he slept, a miraculous transformation occurred. First the mallows blushed with pleasure at having the opportunity to serve the great man. Then, by the time he awoke, the mallows had all been transformed into cranesbills.
Traditionally, cranesbills offer protection against snakes and serpents. Hence the following country rhyme:
Snakes will not go
Where geraniums grow.
Dreaming of geraniums is meant to be a sign that you need not worry about a recent quarrel, as it meant nothing and will soon be forgotten.
Common name(s): Big Root Cranesbill, Balkan Cranesbill