Cranes-Bill, or Geranium, I, a genus of plants comprising 145 species ; of which Dr. Smith states only 13, but Dr. Withering 17, to be indigenous. None of these, however, are cultivated.
The only species reared in this country, are those brought from Africa, and other southern parts of the globe, which, from their extreme tenderness, can only be raised in green-houses. These may be propagated by the roots, but more abundantly by seed, which should be sown towards the end of March, in beds of light earth, being carefully shaded from the sun, and frequently, though gently, watered, till they are well rooted. It is, however, necessary to cover them with mats, which should be removed in mild showers, and also during the hot summer nights, that the plants may have the benefit of
!the dew. In the course of two months, they should be carefully transplanted into pots, about seven inches wide, and filled with light earth. They are then to be kept in a shady place, being frequently watered, till they have again taken proper roots, when it will be necessary to expose them more to the air, till the month of October, .in order that they may become vigorous and hardy. As soon as the cold frosty mornings approach, they should be removed into the green-house, and placed near the window, which may be open till the cod become intense. During the winter, also, they should be occasionally watered, and their decayed leaves carefully separated. They must not, however, stand under the shade of any other plants, as their vegetation would thus be obstructed; nor will they require any artificial heat.
Cranes-bill is recommended as one of the greatest vulneraries and abstergents of the vegetable creation ; and is highly extolled for its styptic power, in hemorrhages of every description. These properties have been suffciently ascertained by experience; and it is therefore to be wished, that this plant were brought into more general esteem in the shops, where, at present, it is totally disregarded.