Every family has one. You know, the spoiled brat that runs all over and does whatever he/she wants. My garden has one too, and I admit I can’t help but stand back as smile as it runs wildly about misbehaving. I have found it in with my hosta. It has come up in the cracks of the brick walk, and has even boldly stood toe-to-toe with the tomatoes.
The most diminutive of the Geraniacea (the Geranium family) it bears all the traits of a true geranium, especially the beak-like fruit for which geranium gained its name. In Greek, geranos means “crane”, and these plants are commonly called “crane’s-bill”. It is no surprise, when you see how the long beak resembles that of a crane.
These tiny (3/4 inch) hot pink flowers bloom from May- Sept. and are held aloft fern-like leaves that blush with red in the full sun. The flower, the foliage, the cute bird like beaks. What is not to love about this joyful prankster? I have read accounts of it being both native and non-native. In several states it is endangered, in several more it is considered an invasive species. But Herb-Robert, Geranium robertianum is so cute, I just have to let it have its way. At least it is easy to pull if it becomes too vigorous.
Just remember, this is the true geranium family. Those “geraniums” that you buy and plant out each summer are really Pelargoniums. But that is for a different blog.