Wild geranium is a native woodland wildflower that can be used as a ground cover in partially shaded sites. It produces pink flowers in spring.
All common names:
Tree or Plant Type:
- Ground cover,
- Chicago area,
- North America
- Mixed border
- Medium plant (12-24 inches)
- Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily),
- Partial sun/shade (4-6 hrs light daily)
- Zone 3,
- Zone 4,
- Zone 5 (Chicago),
- Zone 6,
- Zone 7,
- Zone 8
- Moist, well-drained soil
- Alkaline soil
Seasons of Interest:
- late spring,
- early summer
Flower Color & Fragrance:
Shape or Form:
Size and Method of spreading
Wild geranium grows 1 1/2 to 2 feet high with lower leaves and flowering stems growing directing from creeping rhizomes. Wild geranium is a colonizing ground cover. Colonizing ground covers produce underground stems that spread out horizontally and shallowly, produce roots and then send up new shoots. These plants are strong growers and may have the potential to grow aggressively.
Best grown in a moist, well-drained soil in full sun or partial shade. In hot, dry weather foliage may decline if supplemental water is not supplied.
Disease, pests, and problems
No serious problems, although slugs can be an occasional pest.
Disease, pest, and problem resistance
Resistant to deer and tolerant of black walnut toxicity.
Native geographic location and habitat
Native to Illinois and the Chicago region. Common in open woodlands.
Leaves are either basal or opposite, deeply lobed into 5 lobes with coarse teeth. Leaves are medium green and about 5 inches long.
Pink to lavender flowers with five petals are produced late spring into early summer. They may be solitary or held in loose clusters.
Fruits are beaked capsules said to resemble a cranes bill. Not ornamentally important.
Cultivars and their differences
Espresso wild geranium (Geranium maculatum 'Espresso'): Purplish-brown leaves and longer flowering time.