Geranium sanguinium 'striatum' - A Cumbrian beauty



I have long been a big fan of hardy geraniums, the workhorses of the garden. They can become the understated herbaceous backbone of the border and you're unlikley to see a garden without one. There is one for every position, soil and colour pallette and of the thousands of varieties available Geranium sanguinium 'striatum' the striped bloody cranesbill comes pretty close to the top of the list for me.

Its a great plant for the front of the bed, dainty and beautiful but tough its the ballerina of the border. Clump forming and spreading by above ground rhizomes it throws up a neat, mid green spray of maple shaped leaves. Before treating us to a long season of dish shaped pale pink flowers. Papery thin with delicate tracery of darker crimson veins to each petal, they have a softness of colour that I love.

They are a great grower and although they favour thin soils and can handle drought once established they are also happy wallowing in a damper climate. Months of ran on our heavy clay and they utter not a word of complaint. In fact they are mainly trouble free to grow.

I think my favourite attribute is the fact that it is native. Its not from where I live in the South East but all the same knowing a plant is from the UK does mean a lot to me. Its more likely to benefit local insects and wildlife in general, if it escapes from the garden its likely to be more contained because of native preditors. And for hundreds of years great expeditions have scoured the earth for the exotic, unusual and rare plants to fill our gardens. The natives were seen as dulll, but its not the case. There are hundreds of brilliant natives we use in the garden but equally the are loads that for some reason arent but should be.

Geranium sanguinium striatum is only found in the wild on Walney island off the Cumbrian coast.


Genus: Geranium
Species: Sanguinium
Variety: Striatum
Origin: Europe
Soil: any soil, prefers well drained
Hardiness: fully hardy
Height: 25cm
Season: June to September
Light: Full sun or partial shade