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Geranium phaeum

Geranium phaeum
mourning widow geranium
Conspicuously marked foliage on offspring of 'Samobor'
Geranium phaeum
Hairy buds look nifty up close

Common name mourning widow geranium
Family geraniaceae
Life cycle perennial (Z5-9)
Flowers purple (May)
Size 2'
Light part-full shade
Cultural notes ordinary garden soil (not too dry)
From seed germinate cold
detailed seed-starting info below

This hardy geranium holds its flowers higher above the foliage than most others. For us so far, the foliage has stayed low (under 12"), with the flowers on stalks above. The dark purple flowers are best admired up close.
Our first plant was the plain species - it lived for a few years, then faded away. Luckily, right around that time, I raised seedlings of several varieties, including 'Samobor' with leaves marked maroon. They bloomed by the following year.

mourning widow geranium
Leaves fairly light in color, medium in cut and size
Geranium phaeum
One of our plants has chartreuse leaves, brightening up a shady spot in the garden.
mourning widow geranium
Chartreuse selection in bloom, with slightly lighter purple flowers

We left this plant behind in our Pennsylvania garden (and wish it well); we don't grow it in Houston.

Read about all the cranesbills in our garden on my geraniums page

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PlantLinks to other web pages about Geranium phaeum

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Seed-starting details for this plant

  1. Seed from '02 trade. Baggy 35F (12w; 5%G, 5w) - 70F (5%G, 4w)
  2. Seed for 'Sambor' from '05 trade. Baggy 35F (13w; 20%G, 7-13w) - 70F (3%G, 2d)
  3. Seed for 'mix' from '05 trade. Baggy 35F (47d; 35%G, 19-40d) - 70F (no G, 30d)

My experience so far suggests that the seeds should remain cold, even when the first ones start to germinate; very little germination occurs after moving to room temperature.

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