Geranium Magnificum

Interesting Facts about the Geranium Magnificum

If you love gardening and appreciate vibrant color, one of the most beautiful flowers is the Geranium Magnificum, its hybrid name.  Other names for this plant include “Showy Geranium”, “Geranium X Magnificum”, and Purple Cranesbill.  We wanted to provide you with some interesting facts about this plant, showing you what makes it so special.  For starters, the blooms are a dark violet blue color that makes any garden or flowerbed pop.  Throughout the blooms are small, dark blue veins that create interesting contrast.

Another fact has to do with the blooms.  Although other types of Geranium plants are beautiful and hardy, one of the aspects of the Geranium Magnificum that people love is that the blooms are literally twice the size.  In other words, instead of measuring about one-inch across, blooms on this plant are two inches or more.  This allows the plants to stand out, especially when planted as a collection.

Next, the Geranium Magnificum was actually developed almost 40 years ago.  The developer bred two plant species to include the “G. ibericum”, which is grown throughout Iran, Turkey, and the southwest region of the Caucassus Mountains, with “G platypetalum”, a native plant grown in Turkey.  Although new plant and flower species are developed all the time using mixed breeding, the outcome of this plant surpassed everyone’s expectations.

Interestingly, because this plant has the capability of spreading in loose clumps, it can cover a significant amount of ground, but better yet, the Geranium Magnificum is so hardy, it can be planted in areas where weeds are a problem, actually smothering them.  While this feature is typically positive, keep in mind that because this plant spreads, you want to avoid planting near smaller perennials in that they too would be smothered.  However, larger perennials and even woody-type shrubs would do very well around this particular plant.

The best zones for planting the Geranium Magnificum are five through eight.  Even so, many people have had great success for other zones, to include three through ten but for these geographical areas, you would likely lose about three weeks of bloom time.  On the other hand, when planted in the more acceptable zones, blooming begins in spring and the plant will continue to produce blooms all summer long.

Some of the other interesting facts about the Geranium Magnificum is that it grows well in any soil but only if the soil is not overwatered and it can be propagated in the summer using semi-ripe cuttings or in the spring and fall, by using seed or division.  Even the pet name, Purple Cranesbill has a fascinating history.

This name comes from the shape and appearance of the fruit capsule of this species, which includes a beak-like column mechanism the pollinated flower produces.  When opened up in the spring, seeds can be shot out quite a distance.  This capsule has five separate cells, each holding a single seed.  These cells are then connected to a column, which comes out of the center portion of the flower.

The Geranium actually has a staggering 422 species of flowering plants, to include annuals, biennials, and perennials but of them all, the Purple Cranesbill or Geranium Magnificum is without doubt the one that puts on the most spectacular show.