The vibrant dark violet-blue flowers of the Showy Geranium (Geranium x magnificum) appear to have penciled dark-blue veins. The blossoms attract butterflies and are about twice the size of most hardy geranium flowers, two inches rather than the average one inch across. Great in borders, cottage gardens or wild gardens. It is indeed “Showy” and a stand-out in any collection of crane’s-bill. This hybrid forms a mound of deeply-cut green foliage, bearing masses of large cup-shaped violet-blue flowers. Plants need to be cut back hard after blooming to encourage fresh new foliage. Often has attractive red fall color. This Geranium still rates as among the best of the blue forms.
Magnificum is exceptionally hardy and will grow in most areas of the United States. Listed as hardy in zones 3-10, it will tolerate the dry heat of the southwest, but does not like the humid heat of the southeast. Some hardy Geraniums are also notorious self-seeders, but Magnificum is a sterile hybrid that will grow only where you plant it.
Noteworthy Characteristics: Geranium x magnificum is a hybrid hardy geranium (G. ibericum x G. platypetalum). It typically grows in a clump to 18-24″ tall on generally upright stems clad with palmate, hairy, deeply-lobed (5-7 divisions), green leaves. Features five-petaled, violet blue flowers (to 1.5″ diameter) in early to mid-summer.