Hardy Geranium (Cranesbill) Phaeum, more commonly known as dusky crane’s-bill, mourning widow or black widow, is an herbaceous plant cultivar part of the Geraniaceae family. Well known as being an incredibly useful and dependable geranium makes it an indispensable plant for gardeners.

A hardy strong growing species, it has the most distinctive eye-catching purple-black flowers with petals turned back appearing in late spring above a mounded mass of attractive deciduous foliage.

The lax clumps of upright stems are topped with mid green leaves which occasionally have chocolate coloured markings. This variety is known for its versatility with ability to grow in shade and some of the most inhospitable places, making it a great ground cover solution.

The names “mourning widow” and “black widow” have been given to this geramium due to its dark brooding colours and flowers that resemble bonnets worn by widows holding their heads down, also the fact that they do well in the shade. It has to be said that Geranium Phaeum is far from a sad plant depicted by these names, with its dark beauty and easy maintenance, it is rather more a joy.

A fantastic plant in perennial borders, this average to fast growing deciduous geranium reaches about 80cm high with a 45cm spread, growing in most soils provided they are not waterlogged. To encourage new foliage and flowers it is advisable to cut flowered stems and old leaves to the base just after flowering. The best time to lift and divide mounds of geranium is in the spring.

These are sold in pots allowing all year planting subject to availability. Please call our offices if you would like any help working out quantities required or any further information.