Geranium phaeum

Mourning widow

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Key information

Plant type

Hardy perennial

Flower colour






Skill level


photo by Marg Cousens, copyright GAP Photos (190477)

Plant details

Although not a showy plant this hardy geranium has considerable charm with its upright stems of sombre, almost black flowers. It is useful for planting under trees and shrubs because of its ability to grow in dry shade. It makes good-sized clumps of lobed leaves which are sometimes spotted with purplish-brown.

Family: Geraniaceae

Genus: Geranium

Species: phaeum

Plant type: Hardy perennial

Flower colour: Purple

Foliage colour: Mid-green

Feature: Flowers

Sun exposure: Full sun, Partial shade, Shade

Soil: Acidic, Chalky/alkaline, Dry, Moist, Sandy

Hardiness: Hardy

Skill level: Beginner

Height: 80cm

Spread: 45cm

Time to plant seeds: October to March

Time to divide plants: March to May

Flowering period: May to July

Reader reviews


why post picture when they are clearly wrong and label them with the wrong name....
this is missleading better to have no photo than the wrong one. As this just makes me believe I cant believe anything on here


Yeah, I always cut and paste the plant name into Google Images, before making any final decisions... seems to work for me.

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