Late spring and early summer is the season for hardy perennial
geraniums. Unlike annual geraniums (which are botanically
pelargonium, not geranium), perennial geraniums come back year after year.
There are over 250 different species of perennial geraniums. The
common name of hardy geranium is cranesbill which refers to the
beak-like fruit that forms following the flowers. Hardy perennial
geraniums are wonderful garden plants that grow well in shade or sun.
There are native species that grow wild at the edges of woodlands and
there are many nice varieties that have been developed from the
Hardy perennial geraniums form a handsome mound of foliage that
ranges in size from a compact clump under six inches high and wide to
nearly three feet high and wide, depending on species. All have
palm-shaped, or palmate, leaves. Some are more deeply divided than
others and the leaf color varies from light green to blue gray, to
deep green. Many also have attractive fall foliage and even when they
are not in bloom they are attractive in the garden.
flowers of hardy perennial geraniums are single and made up of five
petals that overlap each other, giving them a rounded appearance.
Flower color includes magenta, rose, pink, violet, lilac, blue,
purple, and dark purple. Some species have attractive veining on the
petals and others have a dark-black center that contrasts nicely with
the flower. They begin blooming in mid to late spring and continue
blooming into summer.