Geranium, Dwarf Ashy Cranesbill, Hardy Geranium, Grayleaf Geranium 'Ballerina'

Geranium cinereum

Family: Geraniaceae (jer-ay-nee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Geranium (jer-AY-nee-um) (Info)
Species: cinereum (sin-EER-ee-um) (Info)
Cultivar: Ballerina
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Alpines and Rock Gardens


Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Sun to Partial Shade



Foliage Color:




under 6 in. (15 cm)

6-12 in. (15-30 cm)


12-15 in. (30-38 cm)

15-18 in. (38-45 cm)


USDA Zone 3a: to -39.9 C (-40 F)

USDA Zone 3b: to -37.2 C (-35 F)

USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)

USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)

USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)

USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us



Bloom Color:


Medium Purple

Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Late Spring/Early Summer

Mid Summer

Late Summer/Early Fall

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

7.9 to 8.5 (alkaline)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

By dividing the rootball

Seed Collecting:

N/A: plant does not set seed, flowers are sterile, or plants will not come true from seed


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:


Parker, Colorado

Mount Prospect, Illinois

Somerset, Kentucky

Westbrook, Maine

Port Washington, New York

St John's, Newfoundland and Labrador

Dallas, Oregon

Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania

Goldendale, Washington

Maryhill, Washington

Watertown, Wisconsin

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Gardeners' Notes:


On Oct 18, 2014, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

The flowers of this cultivar are largely sterile, which allows it a longer season of bloom than the species.

According to Allen Armitage, this species struggles north of Z5 and south of Z6 in eastern North America. It does not like hot humid summers. Needs sharp drainage.

Despite its limited adaptability, this cultivar has been mass-marketed throughout the continental USA.


On Aug 26, 2010, Clary from Lewisburg, PA (Zone 6b) wrote:

I had this plant for 2 years and it never got larger than the plug I started with. It also heaved itself out of the ground, though I replanted it once. I experienced the same heaving with another variety of cranesbill in a different part of the garden. Both plants eventually died.


On Dec 29, 2006, mystic from Ewing, KY (Zone 6a) wrote:

Received the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS), 1993 Award of Garden Merit. Reconfirmed in 2006.


On May 24, 2006, hawallace from Austin, MN (Zone 4b) wrote:

i live in zone 4b. very "cute" plant. grows in small clumps. very tidy. nice veining in petals. no special care.


On Jun 24, 2005, Sassy_Pumpkins from Scotland,
United Kingdom (Zone 9b) wrote:

I love this plant. Although it is said to be small, mine gets between16 and 18 inches high and it spreads even further, I divide the plant every 2 - 3 years.
It is not an aggressive plant and keeps a nice rounded full appearance. I have it growing in sun and in shade and both situations have proved successful. It doesn't seem to mind drought but one is at the base of a hill so it does get a bit damp and this seems to suit it as well.
Leaves get tinged with red and yellow after the first frosts hit giving a nice gental autumn colour. This is a plant that is worth growing in any garden as it flowers it's heart out every year while demanding nothing from you.


On Nov 5, 2004, philomel from Castelnau RB Pyrenes,
France (Zone 8a) wrote:

This is one of my favourite small hardy geraniums. It loves the sun and will reward a good spot with free drainage