Geranium maderense

Geranium maderense

This giant geranium comes the island of Madeira and is the largest of the Geranium species. Technically it is a biennial, but the large palmately dissected dark green leaves are so attractive that it is easy to like the plant for its foliage and be patient for the blooms. In our case, the deer or rabbits hunt it down and it is amazing that the plants have survived. The plant forms a mass of this foliage to about 3 feet tall and wide and when in flower in mid spring, it can reach to 5 feet tall with its massive many-branched inflorescence of 1 inch wide mauve-pink dark centered flowers rising well above the foliage. The flowering stems and sepals are all covered with purple hairs that catch the light and decorate the plant further. After flowering, these hairs remain attractive for several weeks.

Pronunciation: jer-AY-nee-um ma-der-EN-see

Species Meaning: Latinized word that roughly translates to "from Madeira" in reference to this plant's origin

Geranium maderense is native to Madeira.

Cultivation Notes

It will take full coastal sun but in light shade this plant is quite drought tolerant in cooler coastal gardens, even surviving in areas without any supplemental irrigation. It is hardy to about 25 degrees. Flowering usually commences on 2 year-old plants, but sometimes lingers to a third. Cut back when plants topple from the weight of the spent flowers but be sure to spread the seed for the next year.

Do not cut off the lower branches/leaves as it uses these to prop itself up.

Additional Information

Awarded the Royal Horticultural Society’s Award of Garden Merit (AGM) in 1993.

In Our Garden

Plant ID: P18024

Found in Compost Heap,

There were two tucked under the spreading Ironwood trees up by the property line. The were continually eaten by deer or rabbits and eventually died.

We acquired this plant from Breck's.

Family: Geraniaceae

Genus: Geranium

Species: maderense

Commonly known as: Giant Cranesbill, Madeira Island Geranium

Height: <3ft

Spread: <3ft

Growth Habit:
Sun Needs:
Part Sun
Soil Type:
Season of Interest:

Susceptible to Deer.

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