Geranium 'Philippe Vapelle'

Geranium Philippe Vapelle Perennial of the Month-- July 2006 

(ger-A-nee-um) (pronunciation at link, turn up volume if too low)

Common name: Philippe Vapelle perennial geranium/cranesbill

Family: Geraniaceae, Geranium

Height x width: 15" x 18"

Growth rate: moderate

Foliage: evergreen crinkled, leathery gray-green like renardii parent, deeply notched

Flowers: large bluish-purple, dark veins; early summer south, mid-summer north

Hardiness: USDA zones 4-8

Soil: well-drained, will tolerate some drought once established

Light: full sun north, part shade south

Pests and problems: none significant

Landscape habit, uses: groundcover, massed, edging fronts of borders, rock gardens

Other interest: A hybrid of renardii and platypetalum released by Axletree Nursery, UK; very similar to renardii 'Tcsdchelda' only less compact, less wrinkled leaves than renardii, longer bloom season than either parent; originally selected from a variable group of seedlings by geranium breeder Ivan Louette in the early 1990s, the same cross is also seen attributed to Alan Bremner (one of the top perennial geranium breeders, a beef farmer from the Orkney Islands off the north coast of Scotland).

Other culture: under ideal conditions may need division every 3-4 years

Propagation: division in spring

Sources: complete and specialty perennial nurseries locally and mail-order

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