Stained Glass

I just thought I would write a little mini post on the wonderful Erodium manescavii, or Heron’s Bill.

Erodium manescavii

At first glance this flower looks very like a hardy geranium.

Erodium manescavii

But the petals are not all the same.  Two of them have stained-glass window markings.  They are like spidery ink across white paper.  The other three petals just have the veining.  The pecan-shaped anthers are very like a hardy geranium (you can see the geranium up close in A Gallery of Geraniums).

Erodium manescavii

But in Erodium manescavii, the flowers are held in sculptural sprays, like a chandelier.  There are eight or more flowers to a crown.  They are remarkably sticky to dead-head.

Erodium manescavii

This is one of the lowest-maintenance plants I grow.  The only care they need is a bit of a dead-head every month.  They flower continuously from April to December.

Erodium manescavii

This plant self-seeds readily.  The seedlings can be transplanted to where you might like a bit more low-maintenance gardening.

What is your favourite low-maintenance plant?  

You can explore more hardy perennials or low-maintenance plants by clicking the links over the header of this post.

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41 Comments Add yours

  1. Centaurea montana is my fav low-maintenance here in Southland, NZ

    1. Ali says:

      One of my favourites too! Do you get the blue form most commonly? There is an increasing range of differently coloured cultivars here too. I look be them in late spring when there are not so many other flowers competing for attention.

      1. Blue form most commonly yes, and a white one. I’d say you have more variety there than is available here. Great plants 🙂

  2. Perfect title to your piece about these delicate geraniums. That is, they look delicate but probably aren’t since they require so little care.

    1. Ali says:

      That’s exactly it.

  3. I guess my favorite low-maintenance flower is the English lavender. They’re practically no-care!

    1. Ali says:

      Yes. We used to have a lot, but they got a bit gnarled and raggedy; I should replant a few.

      1. You mean dig and divide? That’s an excellent idea. Cut back rather severely this fall, then proceed. The new plants will be small for the first few seasons, but that’s to be expected.

  4. Christina says:

    I’ve tried this but my garden was too dry for it, amazingly.

    1. Ali says:

      Oh, that’s interesting. I suppose everything has its tipping point!

  5. Nicely described. My favourite could be the little orange poppies that only last a day, but respond to regular dead-heading and flower from early spring to late autumn. They are self-seeded and come up year after year

    1. Ali says:

      Is that Welsh poppies? I tried to sow those one year, but in a very slapdash way and I don’t think any germinated!

      1. Wow! I really think you have identified them for us. They were here when we came, four years ago. Thanks very much

      2. Ali says:

        There are also Icelandic poppies, but these tend to be mixed colours, I think. If they are not rumpled, they may be Californian poppies – do they have really long seedheads? If so, they are Californian!

      3. Jackie apparently knew they were Welsh 🙂 We do also have Californian

      4. Ali says:

        I like the sound of Jackie!

      5. Heyjude says:

        Orange poppies sound like the Californian ones, Welsh poppies are usually yellow, but can be orange and the flowers look like the Blue Poppy. Need to check out the leaves to ID them.

  6. What a beautiful flower with it’s stained glass. I would have never noticed that and I think you for pointing it out. I must go look for one of these flowers and see if they will grow here. Gorgeous photos!!!!!!!!!

    1. Ali says:

      Thank you Cindy.

  7. Heyjude says:

    I had never heard of this flower until recently and if I have seen it then I would have assumed it to be a geranium. Does it grow in shade? I need some shade-loving plants for June – September flowering as my shady border is just green now. Different shades of green, but still green.

    1. Ali says:

      Mine is in semi-shade under an apple tree, so I would say it is worth a try!

      1. Heyjude says:

        I shall look out for it.

  8. I love it that these flowers have stain glass patterns in them! Wow, nature is cool. This probably sounds like a bit of a joke, but I have really been taken with cacti lately and have been considering getting one for my office. So right now, they are probably my favorite low-maintenance plant.

    1. Ali says:

      I’ve never grown cacti, but have admired them at flower shows. Their flowers are stunning!

  9. bcparkison says:

    Really good close up shot.

  10. I have not come across this flower before. I think geraniums are hard to beat. My favourite is psilostemum. 🌼

    1. Ali says:

      Geraniums are hard to beat, and psilostemon is one of my faves!

  11. Tish Farrell says:

    Thank you for this splendid intro, Ali. Not a plant I know at all. My arch self-seeders of the low-maintenance kind are purple toadflax, and wild stock. They both do sterling work colour-wise.

    1. Ali says:

      I love purple toadflax too. Are wild stocks white?

      1. Tish Farrell says:

        Mine are mostly deep mauve, but sometimes a white or pink or pale mauve pops up. You never know!

      2. Ali says:

        Sounds lovely!

  12. FlowerAlley says:

    I am glad that you asked. I should consider this important, since my needy plants have about killed me this year. My sedums are never needy and they bloom when everything else is wilting and fading.

    1. Ali says:

      Sedums do seem indestructible, don’t they? You have reminded me that I had a brainwave about planting them up my very dry front path. Like many of my brainwaves, it came and promptly left!

  13. My favourite low maintenance plants is Persicaria polymorpha. It begins to bloom in late spring and its fluffy white heads light up dark corners. It grows in part shade and sun, isn’t fussy about soil and it needs no dead heading. Best of all, the deer leave it alone! It’s a big plant so you need to give it space but for a large garden like mine in rural Quebec, it is ideal.

    1. Ali says:

      I only really discovered persicaria a couple of years ago. It is brilliant for shade and at this time of year, isn’t it?

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