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Geranium sanguineum var. striatum, or Striped Bloody Crane’s Bill, is a native hardy geranium which has received both the RHS Award of Garden Merit and the Perfect for Pollinators designation. It’s a great addition to any garden!
Native to Walney Island off the coast of Cumbria, Geranium sanguineum var. striatum has deeply cut green leaves, with abundantly blooming pale pink flowers with dark red stripes that last from June to August.
Hardy in the coldest European climates, Striped Bloody Crane’s Bill grows to a height and spread of 10-50 cm in 2 to 5 years. In the heat of summer, removing spent flowers and leaves will encourage a new flush of blooms. Space plants 40 cm apart for ground cover.
Plant Geranium sanguineum var. striatum in well-drained loam, chalk or sand soil in sun or shade. It grows quite well in dry, sandy soil, but will also do well in damper soil as long as it is well-drained. Tolerant of salt, it is suitable for planting in coastal regions, and is deer and rabbit resistant, so is a good choice for gardens or ground cover in the countryside. It is also somewhat tolerant of urban pollution so will do well in city gardens.
This rambling native Striped Bloody Crane’s Bill can fit into a variety of garden schemes. Tucked into the front of a mixed border, Geranium sanguineum var. striatum will soften the edge between garden and path or lawn. It’s also a good addition to a rock garden, where it will spill over rocks and provide a long season of bloom, as well as attractive foliage. A Striped Bloody Crane’s Bill trailing down the sides of containers on a rooftop patio or in a courtyard will be a colourful and long-lasting show. In a country garden, Geranium sanguineum var. striatum will cover a difficult slope with long-lasting foliage and flowers, or spill over a retaining wall. In a wildflower meadow or woodland garden, this tough perennial will be a welcome source of food for bees and butterflies.
Geranium sanguineum var. striatum has much to recommend it to the gardener: this tough, hardy, long-flowering native perennial will bring its low-maintenance beauty to your garden year after year!