Gardening Magazine

Geranium Macrorrhizum ‘Spessart’

By Davis Landscape Architecture @DavisLandArch

Geranium macrorrhizum 'Spessart' (02/07/2016, Kew Gardens, London)

Geranium macrorrhizum ‘Spessart’ (02/07/2016, Kew Gardens, London)

Position:  Full sun to shade

Soil: Moist, well drained

Flowering period: Early summer

Eventual Height: 40cm

Eventual Spread:  60cm

Hardiness: 4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a

Family: Geraniaceae

Geranium macrorrhizum ‘Spessart’ is a semi-evergreen perennial with a clump forming, spreading habit. Its mid green aromatic leaves are palmate with five lobes and serrate, up to 10cm long and 10cm across. Some of its leaves may turn red in autumn. Its pale pink to dark pink hermaphrodite flowers are up to 3cm across and appear above its leaves. It roots contain fleshy rhizomes which aids its spread.

Geranium macrorrhizum 'Spessart' Flower (02/07/2016, Kew Gardens, London)

Geranium macrorrhizum ‘Spessart’ Flower (02/07/2016, Kew Gardens, London)

The species Geranium macrorrhizum, commonly known as Balkan Cranesbill, Bigroot Geranium or Rock Crane’s-Bill, is native to southern Europe. In its native habitat it grows at woodland margins and scrubby places.

The etymological root of the binomial name Geranium is derived from the Greek geranos, meaning ‘crane’, referring to the beak-like fruit. Macrorrhizum is derived from the Greek makros meaning ‘large’ and riza meaning ‘rooted’.

Geranium macrorrhizum 'Spessart' Leaf (02/07/2016, Kew Gardens, London)

Geranium macrorrhizum ‘Spessart’ Leaf (02/07/2016, Kew Gardens, London)

The landscape architect may find Geranium macrorrhizum ‘Spessart’ useful as an effective semi-evergreen ground cover perennial. Once established this plant is drought tollerant. This plant is not attractive to deer or rabbits.

Ecologically, Geranium macrorrhizum ‘Spessart’ flowers are attractive to many pollinating insects, including bees.

Geranium macrorrhizum ‘Spessart’ prefers moist, fertile, well-drained soils. It tolerates most pH of soil. It will tolerate dry soils

Geranium macrorrhizum ‘Spessart’ requires little maintenance. Flowered shoots and old stems may be removed to encourage new growth. Large clumps may be divided in spring.

DAVIS Landscape Architecture

Landscape Architecture

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