Geranium phaeum is called ‘the mourning widow’ because the late spring flowers are dark maroon often sold as black. I am in mourning because the plant has been more trouble than it is worth in my garden and this morning I dug out what I hope will be the last surviving specimen. This plant grows well in shady places but the flowers I got were meager to paltry. Despite this poor flowering it managed to self sow in the most amazing places usually in the best sunny spots.
Geranium or Cranesbill
I am also underwhelmed by the blue striped Geranium ‘Splish Splash’ which flowered well in the first year but the colour has gone very pale thereafter. Is it my soil? Well I don’t know but this is its last summer and it will join Geranium phaeum on the compost heap if it doesn’t frame.
There are better ‘cranesbill’ and hebaceous geraniums to plant in your garden so don’t be put off by my experiences. See earlier post
There are annual, biannual and perennial Geraniums like the black Geranium phaeum. Some are content to flower once per year others bring out several flushes
National collections are held at Cambridge University Botanic Garden, New House Barn Ilminster, www.hardygeraniums.com and Frosterley House Durham