|GERANIUM MADERENSE 'GUERNSEY WHITE'|
It's hard to believe that this giant is a true geranium ( not a Pelargonium), but this is a plant that even surprises the plant geeks, for it is one that we all rarely see in bloom, since it is notoriously fussy about flowering. Geranium maderense is a giant in a genus where most plants live in window boxes, for this is a plant that will require an old bath tub, or a big spot in the garden if you live in California ( it is tender, and must be brought indoors where there is frost). A Biennial, this plant takes some time to mature, perhaps two or three years, then it will bloom, if you are lucky, in a massive display of 6 foot tall stems and hundreds of flowers. The type plant is magenta, this one is a white ( alba) form that I started from seed.
Geranium maderense gets its name from where it grows, on the island of Madieira, an island off of the coast of Portugal. Like many plants that find their way to isolated islands, like Lobelia, the evolutionary changes that occur in these situations can take a tiny plant, and evolve them into trees. Although G. maderense is no tree, it sure comes close with a thick, woody trunk, and three foot long leaves and petioles radiating out. This is a one-of-a-kind geranium species. Looking for one? Try Annie's Annuals, I believe that they offer the pink form. My seed for G. maderense alba 'Guernsey White' came from Jelitto seed.
The flowers on G. maderense are large, like silver dollars with just a touch of pink, which was surprised me, but you really only notice the tint in photos.
The leaves are large, with the leaf petioles extending two to three feet out in all directions. My plant is potted in a large clay tub, 40 inches in diameter.