Hardy and tall, Geranium phaeum 'Lily Lovell' (Dusky Cranesbill) is an exceptionally beautiful geranium with slightly reflexed, dusky purple flowers adorned with a white heart in late spring to early summer and with sporadic rebloom throughout the summer. Elegantly floating above a deeply lobed, bright green foliage, the flowers of this species are among the largest of the Geranium phaeum group with a 1.5 in. diameter (4 cm).
- Clump-forming, this rhizomatous perennial reaches 18-30 in. in height (45-75 cm) and spreads 12-18 in. wide (30-45 cm). This sturdy performer is not only easy to grow, but it also requires very little maintenance and is pest and disease free!
- Performs best in part shade, in average, medium to wet, well-drained soils. Unlike most species of geranium, this Dusky Geranium prefers shade and even tolerates almost full shade. Prefers moist, organic soils. Does not appreciate heat and humidity and foliage may decline in hot summer areas. It is attractive to butterflies but deer and rabbit resistant.
- A perfect border plant, it is a spectacular addition to shade gardens, cottage gardens, woodland gardens, wild gardens and is ideal as groundcover or for underplantings.
- May self-seed in optimum growing conditions if not deadheaded. If foliage declines after flowering, remove the flowering stems and trim the foliage for a neat appearance and to re-energize the plant.
- Commonly called 'Mourning Widow' in reference to the dark color of its flowers, this species of Geranium is native to the woods and moist alpine meadows in Eurasia.