Botanical Name: Geranium macrorrhizum
Species: G. macrorrhizum
Common Names: Bigroot geranium, Bulgarian geranium, and Rock crane’s-bill.
Habitat: Geranium macrorrhizum ios native to C. Europe. A garden escape in Britain in S. Devon. It grows in the limestone rocks, screes, in woods and scrub to 2100 metres. Shady places, especially in mountains.
Geranium macrorrhizum is a perenniial flowering plant , growing to 0.5 m (1ft 8in) by 0.6 m (2ft) at a fast rate. It has five-lobed (palmate) leaves that are aromatic when crushed, with pale pink flowers. It is in flower from June to August. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Insects.
Easily grown in dry or moist situations, in sun or light shade[187, 200]. Succeeds even in deep shade. Tolerates a wide range of soil types, succeeding in any moderately fertile retentive soil. Calcicole. Established plants are drought resistant. A very ornamental plant, there are many named varieties. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer or rabbits.
Seed – sow spring in a cold frame. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in the summer. Division in spring or autumn. Very easy, virtually every bit of a divided plant, whether it has roots or not, will grow away and produce roots. Larger clumps can be replanted direct into their permanent positions, though it is best to pot up smaller clumps and grow them on in a cold frame until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the spring.
The plant is used for medical purposes in the traditional herbal medicine since it possesses high antimicrobial properties. Essential oil is prepared from it so it is also used in aromatherapy. In Bulgaria an oil is extracted from this plant, the name of which in Bulgarian means ‘the healthy one’. In addition to essential oil, it contains flavonoids, sesquiterpenes, phenolic acids, pigments, vitamins, and mineral salts. A major component of essential oil is the sesquiterpene ketone germacrone.
It is cultivated as an ornamental plant in temperate regions, where it is used as a flowering groundcover, with named cultivars selected for flower colors from white through pink to magenta. The cultivars ‘Ingwersen’s Variety’ (pale pink) and ‘White-ness’ have gained the Royal Horticultural Society’s Award of Garden Merit.
The very aromatic leaves have been used in the past as a source of geranium oil. They are used in pot-pourri and perfumery. A good dense ground cover plant. A very effective weed smotherer. Plants grow rampantly, rooting as they spread. They should be spaced about 60cm apart each way.
Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.