arhs Yachts International
arhs Yachts International

Geranium sanguineum var. striatum

By Mary Helleiner

Geranium sanguineum itself is a vibrant magenta (not my favourite colour) and a rather sprawling plant, but var. striatum is a different matter. The flowers are a soft attractive pink and the plant is dwarf and very compact, seldom growing more than a foot high. The pink colour is produced by very fine deep pink veining on a blush pink ground. Var. striatum is native only to Walney island off the coast of Cumbria in England; its former name is var. lancastriense, from Lancashire.

We have grown it for many years. We first had a plant in our Halifax garden which survived for many years and seeded itself around modestly; we then moved a seedling to our Pictou county garden, where it did the same thing. When we left that garden we brought a seedling back, which is now flourishing in Halifax. This geranium dies back to a root in the late fall and starts up again in the spring, at first as a very small plant. Gradually over the late spring and summer the plant expands so that a mature plant can be three feet across, though still very compact. There is a burst of flowers in late June, and flowering continues through the summer and into the fall. Before the plant dies down most of the leaves turn a brilliant red. It will put up with a little shade and does not require much water. Although they grow naturally on limestone, they do not seem to require an alkaline soil. Ours have never been winter killed. Seedlings frequently spring up in the cracks of a paved patio, and could be good crevice plants, for a very large crevice.

I can recommend Geranium sanguineum var. striatum without hesitation.