Saturday, June 16, 2012

Erodium x Variabile 'Album' bonsai

Since last year, we've included varieties of erodiums in our green spot. Erodiums are related to pelargoniums (our favorites) being also members of  the botanical family Geraniaceae.
Geraniaceea family  has five genera: Geranium (cranesbill), Pelargonium(storksbill), Erodium (heron's bill) , Sarcocaulon (succulents) and Monsonia. Erodiums have radially symmetrical flowers (actinomorphic) with 5 petals and sepals with similar size and shape and 5 fertile stamens.

Erodium x Variable Album, Baby Swiss Geranium mame bonsai ( 5cm high / 6 cm wide)
Erodium x Variable Album mame bonsai ( 5cm high / 6 cm wide)

Erodium x variabile 'Album' is an evergreen perennial plant hardy down to 15-20 degrees native to European alpine areas, which survives well outside in Vancouver's winter mild temperatures (rarely fall into teens). It is known also as "Baby Swiss Geranium", "Erodium reichardii Album" or "White Heron's-bill". Actually, most alpine varieties of erodiums, with tiny growing habit and flowers blooming almost year round (starting from the beginning of March), make an amazing evergreen ground-cover in miniature landscapes, rock gardens, gravel beds, saikei, and, why not, nice specimens of mame-bonsai.

I really like their star-shaped small white flowers with pink fine veins that flowers the entire season long and their vitality.   Easy to care plants, prefer full sun and well draining soil. The warm period is boosting their growth, making them to spread quite freely (this is why sometimes it is considered a weedy plant) . In spring, we separated this little guy (you can propagate erodiums by division in spring or by seeds) and it became our first erodium mame-bonsai.

Erodium x Variable Album - white heron's-bill flower and hairy leaves
Erodium x Variable ' Album' - white heron's-bill flower and hairy leaves

Leaves are a deep green, hairy and slightly serrated, growing in a form of a dense rounded cushion no higher than 5 cm at the center. The pot is 5 cm high / 6 cm wide and the trunk at base (actually a prolonged root) has more than 1 cm - it is quite difficult to take a picture of it underneath of the foliage's umbrella.  

Erodium xVariable Album mame bonsai
Erodium xVariable Album mame bonsai


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