With their broad color palette and adaptability, geraniums are among the most popular garden flowers in the world. According to plant expert Jennifer Schultz Nelson of the University of Illinois Extension, "The genus Geranium contains over 400 species of annual, perennial, and biennial plants, originating in many temperate regions of the world." These plants are often prized for their beautiful flowers and many also offer medicinal benefits as well.
Native to the mountainous regions of Nepal, Pakistan, China and India, this common geranium produces white flowers that bloom in early summer. The Kashmir White geranium is a cultivar of the species Geranium clarkei. This perennial flower grows in USDA Zones 4 to 8 and will grow in full sun to partial shade. The Kashmir White geranium typically grows to heights of 15 to 18 inches and widths of 18 to 24 inches, according to Learn2Grow.com.
Brookside Cransebill is a common hybrid geranium variety that displays showy bluish lavender flowers with white eyes. Its leaves are medium green throughout the spring and summer, turning yellow and red in the fall. This plant will grow in full sun to partial shade and blooms during the spring and summer. Brookside Cranesbill also produces small bird’s beak-shaped dry fruits. According to Learn2Grow.com, this geranium "is truly one of the best blue-flowered cranesbills because of its beauty, robust habit and long blooming period."
Also known as Showy Geranium and Purple Cranesbill, Geranium Magnificum (Geranium X magnificum) produces large purple flowers that are twice the size of most common geraniums, measuring two inches of more. According to Gardening Central, the Geranium Magnificum is a hybrid of Geranium ibericum and Geranium platypetalum, which are both native to Turkey. This hardy plant can be planted with weeds and will spread rapidly, often crowding out unwanted plants.
Wild geranium, the common name for Geranium maculatum, is native to the United States and features basal leaves and pale lavender flowers. This plant typically inhabits woodlands, meadows and prairies. According to Illinois Wild Flowers, the wild geranium "is the showiest of the native geraniums with flowers at least 1 inch across." This plant prefers light shade to partial sun and loamy, dry soils.