PNW Landscape Plant Guide

brought to you by the plant geeks at Calendula Farm

Western Geranium (Geranium oreganum)

Did you know there is a Geranium native to the Pacific Northwest? Well, here it is and it’s a real cutie! Found largely in western Oregon and in isolated populations here and there from British Columbia and Alberta to northern California, and here & there in western Montana. There is very little of it left in western Washington due to land development.

Western Geranium, also called Western Cranesbill, enjoys life at the edges of woodlands. Not inside the tree line but just outside it, where it can get a nice dose of sun but rest in light shade for a while too. It enjoys moisture and will be found near seeps and wetlands but is fine in drier areas. Like most Geraniums, it is not attractive to slugs and snails.

Western Geranium quickly forms a mound about two feet high and wide comprised of a loose collection of stems topped with finely detailed, rounded leaves. Longer stems rise above in late spring to mid summer with open, five-petaled, purplish magenta flowers dancing at the ends. All the flying pollinators love it. In a shadier spot it will be a less organized mound. With more sun it stays more compact and tidy. It is very friendly with other garden citizens, happily rubbing shoulders with grasses, ground covers, and other flowering perennials, adding its own sparkle & texture for the greater good of the garden. By December it goes to sleep for the winter, completely disappearing, then cheerfully waking up next spring.

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