Hardy Geranium, Bloody Cranesbill 'John Elsley'

Geranium sanguineum

Family: Geraniaceae (jer-ay-nee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Geranium (jer-AY-nee-um) (Info)
Species: sanguineum (san-GWIN-ee-um) (Info)
Cultivar: John Elsley
Hybridized by Blooms of Bressingham
Registered or introduced: 1993
» View all varieties of Hardy Geraniums


Alpines and Rock Gardens


Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

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

Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Grow outdoors year-round

Suitable for growing in containers


6-12 in. (15-30 cm)


9-12 in. (22-30 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)

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Sun to Partial Shade



Bloom Color:



Bloom Time:

Late Spring/Early Summer

Mid Summer

Late Summer/Early Fall


Grown for foliage


This plant is resistant to deer

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

By dividing the rootball

From herbaceous stem cuttings

Seed Collecting:

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


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Macy, Indiana

Billerica, Massachusetts

Petoskey, Michigan

Madrid, Nebraska

Gardeners' Notes:


On Jul 1, 2013, lalalaurenjane from Petoskey, MI wrote:

I received this plant from a friend in the Spring. I wasn't expecting much from it during it's first summer, but it completely surprised me. It mounded beautifully and the delicate flowers look perfect in my planter. I would highly recommend it.


On Dec 22, 2009, rockgardner from Billerica, MA (Zone 6a) wrote:

This cultivar has been growing wild in my front yard since I bought my property 8 years ago. I love it and have done nothing to limit it's spread. It's pretty much stayed under control. It does reseed, though minimally, and has retained it's variation. Gets kind of scraggly by mid to late summer but I just mow it down then, and within a couple of weeks or so it's folliage is looking great again. Will even reflower within a couple more weeks until the first really hard frost. I collected some seeds this fall and will WS or direct sow in spring somewhere else on my property to see how it does. Not sure of the notes under Seed Collecting as it doesn't seem to apply to the hardy geranium I have. Will post a pic.


On Feb 11, 2006, TBGDN from (Zone 5a) wrote:

I have found this cultivar to be an excellent garden plant, especially in very hot, bone dry summers. It withstands every temperature extreme here in Zone 5a/b, where summers can attain 100 degrees+, and winters can see the mercury falling to -22F. Of the hardy geraniums this one is my first choice for all around performance. It blooms well into late summer and I find it re-seeds with no apparent loss of plant characteristics.