Open the Advanced Search

Purple Cranesbill

Geranium x magnificum

Please keep in mind that it is illegal to uproot a plant without the landowner's consent and care should be taken at all times not to damage wild plants. Wild plants should never be picked for pleasure and some plants are protected by law.
For more information please download the BSBI Code of Conduct PDF document.


Plant Profile

Flowering Months:
Geraniaceae (Cranesbill)
Life Cycle:
Maximum Size:
70 centimetres tall
Gardens, roadsides, wasteland.

Purple, 5 petals
Purplish-blue flowers, 2.5 to 4cm in size. The flowers are similar to those of Meadow Cranesbill (Geranium pratense) but more purplish and with notched petals. Heavily veined.
Beaked fruit.
A clump-forming perennial flower with hairy, mid-green, 7 to 9-lobed leaves, almost cut to the base. The leaves are similar in appearance to Meadow Cranesbill but slightly larger and less deeply cut.
Other Names:
Cranesbill Geranium, Hardy Geranium, Showy Geranium.
Frequency (UK):
Occasionally seen  

Similar Species

Other Information


Geranium x magnificum, also known as Hardy Geranium or Cranesbill Geranium, is a hybrid species of geranium that is known for its large, showy flowers. It is a perennial herb in the family Geraniaceae, and it is often grown as an ornamental plant. Hardy geranium is a cross between Geranium wallichianum and Geranium dalmaticum, and it is native to Europe and Asia. The plant has large, purple or blue flowers that bloom in the summer, and its leaves are lobed and hairy. Hardy geranium is known for its ability to tolerate a range of growing conditions, and it is often used in gardens and landscaping.


Purple Cranesbill, also known as Geranium x magnificum, is a species of flowering plant that is widely recognized for its beauty and vibrant color. It is a hybrid plant that is a cross between two other species of geranium, Geranium psilostemon and Geranium macrorrhizum. This hybridization has resulted in a plant that has the best of both its parent species, making it an excellent choice for gardens and landscaping.

One of the most striking features of the Purple Cranesbill is its deep purple flowers. These flowers are usually about 2 to 3 cm in diameter and have five petals. The flowers are produced in large clusters and bloom from late spring to early summer. The plant's foliage is also attractive, with bright green leaves that are deeply lobed and have a distinctive shape.

The Purple Cranesbill is a hardy plant that is easy to grow and care for. It is a versatile plant that can be grown in a variety of soil types, but it prefers well-drained soils that are moist but not waterlogged. It is also quite drought-tolerant, making it a great choice for areas that receive limited rainfall. The plant can be grown in either full sun or partial shade and does best in areas that have moderate temperatures.

One of the best things about the Purple Cranesbill is its ability to attract wildlife to your garden. The flowers of the plant are an important source of nectar for many species of pollinators, including bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds. In addition, the foliage of the plant is often consumed by deer, rabbits, and other herbivores, making it a great choice for gardens in areas with large populations of these animals.

If you are interested in growing Purple Cranesbill in your garden, it is important to choose a suitable location for the plant. As mentioned earlier, it prefers well-drained soil and can be grown in full sun or partial shade. When planting the Purple Cranesbill, be sure to space the plants far enough apart to allow for proper air circulation and to reduce the risk of disease.

The Purple Cranesbill is a beautiful and versatile plant that is easy to grow and care for. Its vibrant purple flowers and attractive foliage make it a great choice for gardens and landscaping. Additionally, its ability to attract pollinators and wildlife make it an important plant for preserving biodiversity.

In addition to its ornamental value, the Purple Cranesbill has also been used for its medicinal properties for centuries. The plant has astringent and antiseptic properties that make it useful for treating wounds, skin irritations, and minor injuries. The plant's leaves and roots have been used in traditional medicine to treat a variety of conditions, including digestive problems, coughs, and colds.

However, it's important to note that the plant can also be toxic if consumed in large quantities. Therefore, it's crucial to use caution when handling the plant and to avoid ingesting it. It's also important to keep in mind that the plant may not be suitable for everyone, and it's always best to consult a healthcare professional before using any plant for medicinal purposes.

The Purple Cranesbill is also a great choice for landscaping, as it can be used in a variety of ways in the garden. It is a great plant for rock gardens, as it is able to grow well in shallow soil and can be used to add color and texture to the landscape. It can also be used as a groundcover, as it spreads slowly and can be used to cover large areas of ground with its attractive foliage.

In addition, the Purple Cranesbill can also be used in cottage gardens, as it adds a traditional and romantic feel to the landscape. The plant's flowers can be used in cut flower arrangements, adding a pop of color and fragrance to any room. The plant's leaves can also be used in dried flower arrangements, as they retain their bright green color even after drying.

In terms of maintenance, the Purple Cranesbill is relatively low-maintenance and does not require much pruning or other attention to keep it looking its best. However, it's important to remove any dead or damaged flowers and leaves regularly to maintain the plant's appearance and to prevent the spread of disease. Additionally, it's a good idea to fertilize the plant in the spring to promote healthy growth and to ensure that the plant has enough nutrients to produce its vibrant flowers.

It's also important to be mindful of pests and diseases when growing the Purple Cranesbill. Some common pests that can affect the plant include aphids, spider mites, and slugs. To prevent pest problems, it's best to grow the plant in well-drained soil and to avoid over-watering. It's also a good idea to keep an eye out for any signs of pest damage, such as wilting or yellowing leaves, and to treat the problem as soon as possible.

When it comes to diseases, the Purple Cranesbill is relatively resistant to many common plant diseases. However, it can be susceptible to powdery mildew, a fungal disease that causes white, powdery spots on the leaves and stems. To prevent powdery mildew, it's important to grow the plant in well-drained soil, to avoid over-watering, and to avoid overcrowding the plant.

In conclusion, the Purple Cranesbill is a beautiful and easy-to-grow plant that is well-suited to a variety of garden styles. Its low maintenance requirements, ability to attract wildlife, and ornamental value make it an excellent choice for anyone looking to add some color and beauty to their outdoor space.

Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

Click to open an Interactive Map