Key Features: Absolutely stunning deep purple, double flowers held high over gorgeous bushy green foliage.
Height x Spread: 24 x 12 inches (60 x 30cm)
Preferred Aspect: Sun/Part Shade
Flowering Period: April - June
The phaeums, also known as the ‘Dusky Cranesbill’ are the earliest flowering of all the Hardy Geraniums. They throw up tall stems, loaded with small flowers that offer a valuable early source of nectar for pollinators. The flowers may be small in comparison to a lot of other Geraniums, but they are held in array and therefore still deliver an excellent visual show for gardeners. They come in all sorts of colours from elegant plain white, to royal purple, lavender shades, burgundy, maroon and varying other shades of purple and cerise. They grow well in sun or shade, but they do prefer consistently moist earth. There are also a variety of foliage types to choose from within the species, from heavily golden variegated to strikingly dark blotched, or just simple plain green.
The Geranium hybrids, as with all plants, are the results of cross pollination between two species. This can be done intentionally by human intervention, or by bees who buzz from species to species within a garden, the results later being a seedling that pops up, discovered by a keen-eyed gardener and grown on, potentially identifying unique characteristics. Hybrids generally have a combination of the best traits from whatever their two parent plants were. This means that the commercially available ones are usually tried and tested strong growers with very good flowering periods, which a lot of people tend to look for. They also tend to be sterile and unable to produce seeds; this also influences the flowering period as the plant is constantly waiting for pollination to occur (which to the plant, never happens) so it goes on flowering as much as it can.