This is Geranium Yoshinoi, a low growing hardy geranium from Japan. An excellent plant for ground cover under trees, it forms a creeping mat of attractive, small marbled leaves and bears masses of insignificant 1cm bright mauve flowers veined with a deeper shade over a long period from summer into autumn when the leaves turn a glorious deep red.
I have it growing beneath a group of Silver Birches and it is evidently very happy there because it has spread from just three plants grown from seed a couple of years ago into a colony now 3 metres across.
Its spreading stolons root at intervals increasing it’s range and forming potential new plants but that is not what interests me most about this plant.
As I watched in the sun yesterday, small black seeds were hurtling in all directions thanks to an ingenious seed dispersal mechanism which catapults the seed capsule at great speed and great force.
I am not sure exactly how far the seeds travel but I have new self sown plants popping up all over the garden, some a great distance from the mother plant.
The seed is supposed to be quite rare and sought after but it is more likely that you can’t find it!
A hardy geranium worth growing as ground cover if you have dry areas beneath deciduous trees and would work well with hardy cyclamen and spring bulbs.