This is one in a weekly series featuring the UC Davis Community Favorites, 75 can't-fail, easy-care plants well-adapted to our region and recommended by local gardeners.
Rozanne cranesbill geranium
Size: Under 2 feet tall
Bloom season: Spring, summer and fall
Exposure: Full sun and partial shade
Pruning needs: Little or none; may get lanky if overwatered
Water needs: Once established, water deeply once a week.
Snapshot: With large purple-blue flowers, this showy true geranium was honored as the 2008 Perennial of the Year. (It gets its "cranesbill" nickname from the shape of its seed pods.) From spring until frost, Rozanne is almost constantly in bloom. Ideal in mixed perennial beds, it does best with a little afternoon shade and well-drained soil. The silver-mottled foliage is attractive, too. In winter, hardy geraniums tolerate frost. You can see specimens near Mrak Hall on the UC Davis campus.
Why it's a Favorite: "Geraniums make great fill-in plants, and the blue flowers of this one are eye-catching," said retired UC Davis botanist Marilynn Vilas. "Easy to grow and care for. Everyone should have this one!"
See a photo gallery of the Community Favorites online at www.sacbee.com/home_garden .