Geranium phaeum ‘Samobor’ has considerable charm, with luxurious, deep maroon-black flowers which are held high on upright slender stems in late spring to early summer.
First discovered in 1990 at a nursery in Kent, Samobor is loved for its amazing deeply scalloped foliage, which is quite unlike most of its immediate family, each new leaf has a cherry black spot, which changes as the leaf matures to form a dark circle.
This beautiful and useful hardy geranium makes a robust ground cover plant. It will tolerate both dry and moist soils and will thrive even in damp or dry shade. It is extremely useful for planting under trees and shrubs because of its ability to grow in dry shade.
It quickly makes good-sized clumps of beautiful, soft-green beautifully marked foliage which will quickly form a hummock of foliage that is excellent for suppressing weeds. It is also both slug and rabbit resistant.
Use it in woodland, among ferns, under deciduous trees or at the edge of a border, where the dark flowers and wonderful foliage can be appreciated,
Sowing: Sow in Late winter/late spring or in late summer/autumn.
Fill pots, cells of trays with a good seed starting compost. (John Innes or similar). Sit the containers in water to moisten thoroughly.
Sow the seeds 2.5cm (1in) apart, on the surface of the compost and “Just cover” the seeds with a light sprinkling of sieved compost. Germinate can occasionally be erratic often over several months, but usually between 30 to 90 days at temperatures around 5 to 10°C (41 to 50°F)
Prick out each seedling as it becomes large enough to handle, transplant into 7.5cm (3in) pots to grow on.
After the last expected frosts, gradually acclimatise to outdoor conditions for 10 to 15 days before planting out into their permanent positions. Space 30 to 40cm (12 to 15in) apart.
Geraniums are native to moist areas of Europe. They are best planted in moist but well-drained soil but will tolerate most soils. They prefer full sun and can tolerate partial shade. In hot climates they will do best in part shade as moist soil is needed, although hick roots allow for survival in drought.
In mid summer after flowering rejuvenate plants that are beginning to look jaded by removing old flower stems and leaves. They may rebloom late in the season. Lift and divide large colonies in spring, March to May.
Beds and borders, Cottage/Informal, Ground Cover, Underplanting, Woodland
Geranium phaeum is native to southern, central and western Europe.
Both the genus name Geranium, taken from the Greek word for crane, and the common name “crane’s bill” refer to the resemblance of the beaked fruit to a crane's bill or beak.
The species name is derived from the Latin phaeus meaning ‘brownish’, referring to the colour of the flower of the plant.
The common names of ‘Mourning Widow’ and 'Black Widow' which is said to come from the flower colour, deepest royal purple burgundy.
The common name “crowfoot” is often used for geraniums, because the leaves resemble those of buttercups, which historically used to be called crowfoots
- Additional Information
Average Seed Count 10 Seeds Family Geraniaceae Genus Geranium Species phaeum Cultivar Samobor Common Name Dusky Cranesbill, Mourning Widow
Other Common Names Crowfoot Hardiness Hardy Perennial Flowers Maroon-black, May to July Height 60 to 80cm (24 to 32in) Spacing 30 to 45cm (12 to 18in) Position Full sun in cool climates, part shade in hot climates Soil Fertile, well-drained Time to Sow Late winter/late spring or in late summer/autumn. Germination Usually between 30 to 90 days at 5 to 10°C (41 to 50°F)