The hedgerow cranesbill presents its delicate pink flowers in summer. This is how planting and caring for this ground-cover plant is successful.
Profile of hedgerow cranesbill:
Scientific name: Geranium endressii
Plant family: geranium family (Geraniaceae)
Other names: Endres cranesbill, French crane’s-bill
Sowing time: spring
Planting time: spring
Flowering period: June to September
Location: sunny to partially shady
Soil quality: sandy to loamy, lime-tolerant, nutrient rich, humus rich
These information are for temperate climate!
Use in: flowerbeds, groundcover, overgrowing, area greening, borders, cottage garden, flower garden, natural garden, forest garden
Winter hardiness: hardy, USDA Plant Hardiness Zones: 5 (-26 °C / -15 °F)
Bee and insect friendly: Yes
Plant characteristics and classification of hedgerow cranesbill
Plant order, origin and occurrence of hedgerow cranesbill
The hedgerow cranesbill (Geranium endressii) is originally from the western half of the Pyrenees. The pretty perennial from the geranium family (Geraniaceae) is mainly found in France, hence why it is also called French crane’s-bill. Geranium endressii is also often sold under the botanical name Geranium x oxonianum – although this is a cross between the species and Geranium versicolor.
Characteristics of hedgerow cranesbill
Geranium endressii spreads with elongated rhizomes on or just below the surface of the earth. With its low lying stems the ground cover plant reaches a height between 25 and 50 centimeters (10 and 20 in).
The basal leaves of the hedgerow cranesbill are partially evergreen and divided into five pointed sections almost to the base.
From June to September, the hedgerow cranesbill opens its funnel-shaped flowers, which are often visited by bees and other insects. They shine in pink or salmon pink and often have a silvery sheen. The veining in the upper part of the petals is somewhat darker and net-like. With increasing age the flowers of Geranium endressii darken even further. A pruning after the first bloom usually causes a second blooming.
After flowering, hedgerow cranesbill forms schizocarp fruits. Excessive self-seeding can be prevented by pruning, if desired.
Hedgerow cranesbill – cultivation and care
If you are looking for a suitable location for the hedgerow cranesbill, you have the choice: It thrives in both sunny and partially shady places.
Important for hedgerow cranesbill is a moderately dry to fresh soil, which should be as permeable and nutrient-rich as possible.
Like most other cranesbill species, the Endres cranesbill is best planted in spring. Note that Geranium endressii can grow to a width of between 30 and 40 centimeters (12 to 16 in). Per square meter (10 sq ft) you can plan about eleven plants.
Care / Watering / Fertilization / Pruning
The care measures for the hedgerow cranesbill are relatively straightforward. Freshly planted specimens should be well watered on warm, sunny days. In spring, a dose of compost is recommended for fertilizing. If you cut back the ground cover completely after flowering, it will also grow fresh and compact.
A division of the long-lived perennials is not absolutely necessary, but is possible without any problems. The best time for this is spring.
The propagation of the hedgerow cranesbill usually succeeds even hobby gardeners without problems. The plant is best propagated using cuttings from rhizomes. For this purpose, the rhizome pieces are cut diagonally and put into a small pot with growing soil. One can also propagate it by sowing. For this simply collect some seeds and sow them in spring.
Diseases and pests
In general, the hedgerow cranesbill is considered extremely robust. It is avoided by snails, but occasionally rust fungi or powdery mildew can occur.
Due to the flat lying rhizomes the species is only limited hardy. Especially in case of bald frost it is advisable to provide it with winter and sun protection.
Use in the garden
As an undemanding ground cover, the hedgerow cranesbill is wonderfully suited for larger open spaces, the edge of a wood and larger borders. It can be combined well with many drought tolerant wild shrubs, such as common bugloss (Anchusa officinalis) or Carthusian pink.
From Geranium endressii there are some interesting varieties that can be used in many ways. These are mostly crosses with Geranium versicolor. The selections are often also assigned to Geranium x oxonianum.
- Beholder’s Eye’: bright pink to magenta pink flowers, 45 (18 in) centimeters high
- Betty Catchpole’: dark pink flowers with weak veins, 40 (16 in) centimeters high
- Castle Drogo’: salmon pink flowers, about 45 (18 in) centimeters high
- Wargrave Pink’: intense salmon pink, delicate, 30 centimeters (12 in) high