Geranium macrorrhizum

Photo by Gayla Trail  All Rights Reserved

I cringe when I think about what a geranium snob I used to be until I got over myself and admitted I didn’t know what I was talking about. Now-a-days I’ve got big love for all sorts of geraniums from those in the genus geranium to the scented pelargoniums. Though I have to admit I still dislike the odd-scented type with red flowers. Except when they are grown in a temperate climate and turn into a massive monster of twisted limbs. Then they are fantastic.

Anyways, Geranium macrorrhizum aka bigroot cranesbill is a particularly great geranium. The foliage has a pine-like scent that I find very refreshing. It’s also a tough-as-nails plant that can withstand just about anything you can throw at it. I used to grow some in a terracotta window box years back. I kept that window box outside year-round for several seasons and the plants came back miraculously every spring. I can think of few plants that would withstand those conditions.

Gayla Trail
Gayla is a writer, photographer, and former graphic designer with a background in the Fine Arts, cultural criticism, and ecology. She is the author, photographer, and designer of best-selling books on gardening, cooking, and preserving.

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4 thoughts on “Geranium macrorrhizum

  1. So that’s what we have…

    We had a small clump of these when we moved into our house several years ago. We’ve moved and split that clump several times (as well as giving parts of it to neighbors), and now we have over a dozen monster-huge geranium plants that survive anything. Seriously.

    I always wondered what kind they were. I never see them in gardening catalogs or nurseries.

  2. I have one of the aforementioned monsters, could not kill it if I tried, even the rose bush growing essentially inside of it- roots twisted together and everything, can’t kill it. It’s like a cockroach or something.

  3. I too used to be a geranium snob. The only ones I knew were the standard red-globed ones with fleshy, hairy leaves (Pelargonium x hortorum?) my mother grew in our NYC apartment when I was a child. I now have a Johnson’s geranium in my garden, and it provides beautiful blue flowers every summer.

    Yours is lovely.

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