GERANIUM Pratense (Meadow Cranesbill) ‘Mrs Kendall-Clarke’

Mrs Kendall Clarke

Europe, C Asia

Mrs Kendall-Clarke with anthers

MRS KENDALL-CLARK, FOLIAGE P1030603

This Hardy Geranium, with its large, deeply cut leaves, produces its elegant flowers in May. They are a soft LAVENDER-BLUE with SILVER veining, and last from early to late summer. Like our other Hardy Geraniums, this plant has no problems with pests or diseases, asking only for good drainage and sunshine.

Bees’ favourite.

Although Mrs. Kendall-Clarke’s flowering season is all too short – here it is only from May to June – she is fabulous while in bloom. Every flower is much visited by bees.

web - Mrs Kendall-Clarke with coneMrs Kendall Clarke recent

Mrs Kendall Clarke sharpened jun 19 2014 63Our own Mrs K-C came from Gillespie Park’s Ecology Centre, where she had been planted by someone for a class and left behind, ending up by the Centre’s back porch with other potted plants.

After a volunteer day clear-out, the now-potbound Hardy G was brought here and planted in what was meant to be her own bed. But a robust neighbour, Hardy G ‘Wargrave Pink’, moved in, self-seeding itself and bullying the new arrival until it had taken over most of her soil and sunlight. This only came to light when it came time to move our plants.

Mrs Kendall-Clarke now lives on the earthwork. Only one other Hardy Geranium grows near her.  As their leaves are so different, any Wargrave Pink seedlings appearing on the bank are quickly spotted and moved elsewhere.

Cranesbill on blue table

Some Hardy geraniums are called ‘cranesbills’ because of the resemblance between their seed pods and the head of a crane, with its long pointy beak. These seed pods have a special method of dispersing their seeds.

“Species in the Geranium genus have a distinctive mechanism for seed dispersal. This consists of a beak-like column which springs open when ripe and casts the seeds some distance.”

Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geranium

Even with this special mechanism, however, Mrs Kendall-Clarke has never sprung up anywhere else in the garden from seed… We suspect that her seeds are pecked up straightaway by our wildlife.