As someone who has grown bigroot geranium (Geranium macrorhizzum) for many years, I’ve long admired one of its daintier hybrid offspring. While similar in frilled leaf form, Geranium x cantabrigiense ‘Biokovo’ makes tidier mats of foliage, and its flowers poke up their heads without the long, scrawny necks of my bigrooted friend.
Then yesterday as I escaped outdoors for a brief, rainy camera safari, I was arrested by the scene above and below. Wow. That leaf colour sure puts my bigroots to shame.
Coincidentally, I came across an almost identical shot and excellent article at the blog of The Casual Gardener. Scoot over there and have a read. This leads me to think that the colour I spotted is not an isolated incident, and that ‘Karmina’ — as the carminey name suggests — might be a colourful variety to hunt for.
Much as I hate to rip out a plant that is performing reasonably well, it makes total sense to ensure that each square foot of ground is working its darnedest for effect. In fact, in my shady, dry, sandy garden, G. macrorhizzum reliably makes tons of leaves, but flowers only sparingly. Perhaps G. ‘Biokovo’ would do (or not do) the same. Yet who would care, with this paintbox of foliage to wrap up the season!
Anyone need some hardworking bigroots as ground cover for an impossible spot? Come knocking.