A stunning huge bouquet of gorgeous rose pink flowers, erupt as a great cloud from Geranium maderense Madeira Cranesbill.
Maderense is certainly the largest of the lovely Geranium family, and doubtless the most spectacular.
Simply a showstopper.
(Please see “Growing” section below for plant details, how & where to grow).
A huge cloud of pink flowers
Long blooming, with that spectacular head of flowers beginning to billow in late spring, and becoming a great pink cloud in summer.
Magnificent architectural foliage
Deeply cut leaves are dark green and held on vivid red stems.
But the Madeira Cranesbill has developed a cunning trick.
It needs to hold up that massive head of flowers against the Atlantic gales of its Madeira island homeland.
So as the flower head develops, stout lower leaf stems bend down and jab into the soil, forming a circle of strong buttress props. And we thought human architects invented the flying buttress!
A very easy to grow plant.
Growing: Geranium maderense
– Height with flowers: Billowing great round cloud of flowers, to approx. 90 to 120cm.
– Width: The flower cloud is as wide as it is high. But even without flowers, the foliage crown with its propping arms is also approx. 90cm. in diameter.
Geranium maderense really makes a dramatic statement in the garden.
– Soil: Geranium maderense easily adapts to a wide variety of soils, from sandy to clay, providing they do not remain wet for long periods.
It is tolerant of a wide pH range, on both the acid and alkaline (lime) side of neutral.
– Frost: Tolerant of light frosts, however overhead protection is needed where frosts are below approx. -5C. Luckily it enjoys some shade.
– Fragrance: The magnificent and decorative leaves are also aromatic.
– Wind hardy: Geranium maderense, as the name implies, is native to the island of Madeira. Here it is regularly blasted by Atlantic Ocean gales. So it has naturally adapted to withstand severe winds by using strong leaf stems as a circle of buttress props. It is also hardy in seaside conditions.
– Growth: Geranium maderense is a self seeding biennial. So it will reliably provide you with replacement plants, plus some to share. They are easy to weed out if they volunteer where you don’t want them. The parent plant will die after its spectacular effort.
– Beneficial for wildlife: Bees, butterflies and all the other beneficial insects cant believe their luck – so many flowers – so close together. A lazy bee’s paradise.
Hardy & easy to grow
– Position: Happy in either Full Sun, Partial Shade or Shade.
Geranium maderense enjoys summer humidity, so is well suited to sub-tropical gardens.
And it appreciates some overhead cover for protection in areas of heavy frost.
But is ideal for seaside and windy gardens.
– Water: Geranium maderense is not a thirsty plant, and robust during periods of dry. So normal average garden water is more than enough. And it prefers to dry out between waterings.
– Care: Prefers deep watering and drying out between drinks (avoid over-head watering).
Cut the great head back hard after flowering if you want the bonus of a second and sometimes third flush of flowers.
But do let some flowers go to seed at the end of summer, so you have plants to share next year.
– Deer & Rabbit resistant: The aromatic leaves smell nice to us but are not appetising to deer or rabbits.
– Origin: As the botanical name implies, this geranium is native to the island of Madeira. So it is naturally adapted to wind, seaside, and poorer soil.