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Geranium Dark Reiter Is a Dark-Leaved Beauty

‘Dark Reiter’ is a hardy geranium cultivar that offers all we’ve come to enjoy about these popular perennials: vibrant summer flowers, ease of care and ground-covering ability. However, ‘Dark Reiter’ goes a step further with its dusky-colored foliage, which makes a beautiful contrast to its own bright purple flowers and to green-leaved neighbors.

'Dark Reiter' has vivid purple flowers and bronze-purple lacy leaves. Here it mingles with grassy oak sedge (Carex pensylvanica).

'Dark Reiter' has vivid purple flowers and bronze-purple lacy leaves. Here it mingles with grassy oak sedge (Carex pensylvanica).

Common name: ‘Dark Reiter’ hardy geranium, ‘Dark Reiter’ cranesbill

Botanical name: Geranium pratense ‘Dark Reiter’

Exposure: Full sun to part shade

Season: Spring through fall for foliage, summer for flowers

Flowers: Five-petaled flowers appear from early through late summer. They are an electric purple that’s enhanced by the dark leaves.

Foliage: The lacy leaves of the geranium 'Dark Reiter' are deep bronze-purple in color, making it as much a foliage plant as it is cherished for its lengthy summer bloom.

Habit: This hardy geranium grows about 10 inches tall with a 12-inch spread. It is an herbaceous perennial that dies back in the fall and grows anew in the spring.

How to grow Geranium 'Dark Reiter': Site in full sun to part shade, in any type of soil with decent drainage. Hardy geraniums are fairly drought tolerant once it is established. Provide water during dry spells in its first growing season, but thereafter it should be able to withstand relatively short periods of no rain. 'Dark Reiter' can be sheared during the summer to promote fresh growth and flowering and to remove any seed heads. USDA Zones 4–8.