Geranium sanguineum is a perennial that blooms with pink flowers in the summer.
It is hardy and herbaceous and is known by the common names of Bloody cranesbill, Blood-red cranesbill, or bloody geranium.
Some popular cultivars include Album, Ankum's pride, Shepherd's warning and the variety striatum.
It is a member of the 422 strong Geranium genus, which itself is a member of the ~800 species strong Geraniaceae family; this makes the plant closely related to other garden plants such as Pelargonium and Erodium (Storksbill).
The plant is native to the grasslands, banks and hillsides, deciduous woodlands – and their surroundings – of Europe, and to the temperate regions of Turkish Asia.
Geranium sanguineum can be grown as ground cover, in flowerbeds and borders, and are ideal for growing beneath a light canopy. They look great as part of a rock, cottage, or wildlife garden.
Bloody cranesbill plant picture by Dan kristiansen.
As Geranium plants are very easy to look after and maintain they make great starting plants to grow for novice gardeners and for people who have little time, or difficulties in looking after their garden.
The following Geranium sanguineum video shows a butterfly visiting a Bloody Cranesbill plant and provides a general overview of how to grow this plant in your garden.
Although other members of the Geranium genus may be annuals or biennials, Geranium sanguineum itself is an herbaceous perennial that spreads freely.
It reaches heights of 20 to 50 cm (8–20 inches) and has a spread of about 20 cm (8 inches). It typically takes two to three years for the plants to reach their full size.
Stems are erect and hairy, and carry dark green palmate leaves; these are fragrant and turn red in the autumn. Geranium sanguineum plants bloom in late spring and summer.
They carry cup-shaped pink–purple flowers of 2.5 to 4 cm (1 to 1.5 inches), with five radially symmetrical petals.
Geranium sanguineum photograph by Michael Kappel.