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GERANIUM incanum

Image of Geranium incanum

Jessie Keith

Family

Geraniaceae

Botanical Name

GERANIUM incanum

Plant Common Name

Carpet Geranium, South African Cranesbill

General Description

Magenta-pink blossoms cover this South African native from summer to fall. Where hardy, this lovely, shrubby, mound-forming perennial is evergreen. It has rounded, deeply dissected leaves that are aromatic and soft gray-green in color. In the wild, plants exist in very well-drained soils and open meadowlands.

The lovely ferny leaves of carpet geranium form attractive spreading mounds that spread by rhizomes. They are five-lobed and have a distinctive and pleasing aroma when crushed. In late spring to autumn, deep pink to magenta blossoms appear above the leaves. Their petals have darker veins and V-shaped white mark at the base. The dry, brown fruits are shaped like bird's beaks and filled with seeds that fall to the ground and readily germinate.

Grow carpet geranium in sunny locations in sharply drained garden soils that are moderately fertile. Although this species tolerates heat and drought comparatively well, it will perform much better if watered regularly during dry periods. At the northern margins of its hardiness, it may be semi-evergreen to deciduous. Plants should be cut back in early spring to encourage the new, fresh looking growth to take center stage. Grow this pretty perennial in sunny rock gardens, along walkways or on the front of a sunny flower garden. The plants do self-sow with proficiency, so it is wise to cut the fruits back before they mature and release seed.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    11 - 8

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    7 - 11

  • Sunset Zone

    14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Perennial

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun

  • Height

    10"-18" / 25.4cm - 45.7cm

  • Width

    12"-24" / 30.5cm - 61.0cm

  • Bloom Time

    Early Summer, Summer, Late Summer, Early Fall

  • Native To

    South Africa

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Clay, Loam, Sand

  • Growth Rate

    Fast

  • Water Requirements

    Drought Tolerant, Average Water

  • Habit

    Cushion/Mound-forming

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    Pink, Hot Pink, Magenta

  • Fruit Color

    Green, Tan

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Light Green, Gray Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Gray Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Gray Green

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Gray Green

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    Yes

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    Yes

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    Yes

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Foliage Texture

    Medium

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    Yes

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Edging, Groundcover, Mixed Border, Rock Garden / Wall

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    Sometimes

  • Attracts

    Butterflies

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes