Thursday, April 03, 2008

Geranium maculatum

This is the Johnson's Blue variety from my Cary IL garden. I paid about $12 for this plant and today I find out that these hardy geraniums are a wild flower! Of course this particular named specimen was developed, but it came from the woods, a freely growing perennial.

It was developed to be taller and more showy than its naturalized cousins. It's tallness was not always a plus, since it was easily flattened after a hard rain. The flowers are nice but the leaves are the things I fancy, with their palmate shape and frilled edges. And the fact that it grew abundantly. I love an enthusiastic plant.

Now that I have purchased a flat of 18 of these babies I am assured that I will have a hillside of color to go along with the freebies I found growing here already!
Below is a sprout of the wild kind from my hillside. Now that I see this plant and have scoured my yard, I have found a zillion others! Some are low lying, and have nice reddish edges, and some like this one are upright and dark green. I am happy and miffed at the same time.

I wonder how the flower will look on each of the differing specimens I have found? Stay tuned.


  1. I have some too - it works well with my "benign neglect" method of gardening and best of all the slugs don't like it. The wild version's called cranesbill on this side of the atlantic!

  2. Anonymous9:32 AM

    Our wild ones don't bloom, so I'm glad I have the Johnston's Bue.

  3. I have some of those in the garden and now I know what they are. Thanks-good to know the slugs don't like them as well. One year I planted dalia and in 2 days the slugs had decimated them. Where's my salt shaker???

  4. Anonymous1:02 PM

    Mel, planting them close, maybe they will cross pollinate and give you a new species, you never know until you try.

  5. Geraniums will love your garden. They are such good value, flower long, are ground cover. Apart from Johnson's Blue I love
    clarkei Kashmir white:

    phaem album (glows in shady spots):

    psilostemon for its colour in a more formal collection:

    and far from least, Ann Folkard because its leaves are bright and it sprawls beautifully, and it flowers, and flowers, and flowers, ...:

  6. Bottom photo looks like "Crows feet" from this computer screen. Small, dainty, & white flowers coming your way.

  7. Anonymous6:33 PM

    Do you have any ideas for flowers that won't become meals for deer?

  8. The deer haven't been around since last fall. We saw some far away across the road last month, but not back on our side anymore.
    We'll send Popeye out after them, should they arrive. You saw how well he handled the mousie.

  9. The deer ate all my cranesbill geraniums! :(

    Twinnie Susan

  10. Mrs Mel! I find your cranesbill adventure hilarious! This is something that grows wild even in Labrador, Canada ... how do I know? because that's all I can get to grow. That and chives. Both have lovely purple flowers and both are (even more importantly) perennials which don't freeze in the winter.

  11. Anonymous10:59 AM


    Google "May apple photos" to find more information and photos of the last pictured plant. You can see the blossoms as well. Fruir is a round globe.

    Also, try Misouri Conservationist magazine website for archived article on these plants-- Plants usually bloom in May, often found on woodland floors in big clumps--looks like unbrellas clustered together. Flowers are on the stem lower than the leaf.

    Missouri Conservationist mag is free subscription for all Missourians, and available for really low cost subscriptions for out-of-staters, mostly to cover mailing costs. Check it out!



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