Geranium phaeum ‘Album’

Dusky cranesbill


A wonderful hardy ground cover with beautiful nodding clear white flowers that light up a shady spot from late spring until early summer. The dense attractive  foliage forms an excellent semi-evergreen weed suppressant, and the plant is beloved by a wide range of pollinators.


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Origin: Southern, Central, and Western Europe
Genus: Geranium
Species / Cultivar: phaeum 'Album'
Common Name: Dusky cranesbill

Plant Biography

Geranium phaeum ‘Album’ is a cultivar of the species Geranium phaeum, also known as dusky crane’s-bill or mourning widow. Initially described by Carl Linnaeus, it is native to Europe and cultivated for its attractive foliage and flowers, thriving in shady conditions.

‘Album’ is distinguished by its white flowers, offering a contrast to the dark green leaves. Popular in gardens for brightening shaded areas, it’s commonly used in woodland gardens and shaded borders. ‘Album’ represents selective breeding efforts to enhance the ornamental value of the species, making it more versatile and appealing for garden use.

Geranium phaeum 'Album'
Soil: Well drained
Soil that does not show much signs of moisture, either visibly or when handled.
Growth Rate: Fast
Expect to see prolific growth, especially during growing season.
Water Requirement: Low
Will grow in a drier position and is unlikely to need regular watering once established.
Maintenance: Low
Minimal skill or input needed beyond the basics, a very independent plant.
Situation: Full Sun to Full Shade
Tolerates the complete range of light levels, a very accommodating plant!
Eventual Height: 0.5-1m
The plant's ultimate height in typical growing conditions.
Eventual Spread: 0.5-1m
The plant's ultimate spread in typical growing conditions.
Hardiness: Fully Hardy
Will survive unprotected outdoors in most areas of the UK, even in the harshest winters.
Habit: Semi Evergreen
May only remain evergreen in milder winters, or only loose leaves for a short period.
Lifecycle: Perennial
This plant is persistant and does not die off after flowering. It will return each season indefinitely, if provided with suitable growing conditions.

Expert Tip

An excellent companion for other woodland plants but equally happy when placed in a cottage garden or mixed border.
Care & Size Guidance

Care & Size Guidance

Geranium phaeum ‘Album’ thrives in partial to full shade, preferring moist, well-drained soil. Ensure adequate watering, especially during dry spells, but avoid waterlogged conditions. Regular deadheading promotes continuous blooming throughout its flowering season.

This cultivar has a clumping habit, but too maintain its compact shape and encourage new growth, periodic trimming of spent foliage and stems is beneficial. Dividing the plant every few years rejuvenates its vigour. ‘Album’ is generally low-maintenance and relatively pest and disease-resistant, making it an excellent choice for shaded gardens and borders.


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