Wild geranium

Wild geranium: characteristics of the species

The name Geranium is clearly of Hellenic origin; in fact “gheranos” means “crane”, a beautiful elongated beaked bird as is characterized by the ovary and the fruit of the Geraniaceae. The geranium plant mentioned by Pliny in his works could only be the wild geranium. Of wild geranium are recognized in botany two qualities the Erodium and Geranium. Two very similar varieties. Varieties that differ from each other mainly due to the different conformation of the leaves. In the indigenous flora of our peninsula we meet about twenty species of Geranium. It is quite common to find spaces in nature where plants of wild geranium arise and multiply in a completely spontaneous way. they can also appear among the pebbles.


Wild geraniums or true geraniums are plants absolutely not to be confused with common or florist geraniums. The wild geraniums, in fact, are part of the genus “Geranium”, which includes at least 300 species spread spontaneously in two continents, Europe and Asia. These are highly valued species and are grown for ornamental purposes. All botanical species and many horticultural varieties can be easily reproduced by seed, which must be planted in spring or late summer, directly outdoors, in a seedbed; the subsequent transplant at home should preferably be performed at the end of winter, spacing the seedlings with an interval of 35-40 centimeters. However it is always possible, and for hybrid varieties indeed advisable, to resort to the propagation by subdivision of the old tufts.

The multiplication

The subdivision of wild geraniums is an operation that is generally performed in late summer, once flowering is complete, or between late winter and early spring, before vegetative growth begins. Once the plant has been carried out, the tufts can be planted for many years. Only when the wild geranium plants begin to run out, will they have to be uprooted to replant them in other flower beds after having divided them. Wild geraniums adapt to grow everywhere, in the plains as in the mountains and on land of different nature. Some prefer not very sunny, shady and even cool locations, while others are also found on sunny, stony and dry soils. Wild geraniums can be grown everywhere even in areas with very severe winters.

Watering and fertilization

Wild geraniums, that is the horticultural species and varieties of the genus Geranium, have very few cultivation needs and adapt to grow even in poor soils. Some spontaneous species in Italy thrive even on rocks and scree, but when they are introduced into the garden they must be planted on deep, fertile soils. The flowers of wild geraniums bloom continuously from May to September. This type of plant is prone to rust and other fungal diseases. Wild geraniums are herbaceous perennial plants very popular for placing them in flower beds or mixed borders. The flowers have very bright colors that can vary from cyclamen to light blue to light purple. It is said that the girls who lived in the mountain villages loved to adorn themselves in the long braids of wild geraniums on summer days.

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