Originally native to Europe, the Himalayas, and the mountains of South America, Geraniums are currently considered to be among the true "workhorses" of the American and European flower border. The plant earned this reputation thanks to its success in a multitude of environments. Geraniums are equally at home spilling over pathways, flourishing between paving stones of a patio or terrace, or thriving in wild woodland gardens. Geraniums are typically long-lived, long-flowering, easygoing, and reliable plants that are tolerant of full or partial sun with no significant diseases or pests. Due to the seed capsules' clear resemblance to a bird's beak, first-century physician Dioscorides named this plant geranios
, for "crane." Charmingly enough, even in current usage, Geraniums are commonly referred to as Cranesbills.
True Geraniums, not to be confused with the tender bedding-plant members of the genus Pelargonium, are, for the most part, hardy perennials that display colorful, five-petaled blooms.