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CranesbillGeranium maculatum
The ability to stop bleeding means that cranesbill is typically considered a Venus plant, but the herb's astringency gives it potential for binding spells. This combination makes cranesbill especially effective for binding love spells. Oddly enough, the Iroquois used cranesbill for the opposite reason--a piece of root in the tea of a lovesick individual could break the spell. This magic herb gets its common name from the shape of the seed pod, which acts like a spring to throw the seeds away from the plant to help it spread. Cranesbill is related to herb robert and has been used a substitute for that plant in magic and in medicine, but it does not have a bad smell like herb robert does. I love to grow this plant as a groundcover around hedges. Cranesbill is also known as spotted geranium, wood geranium, wild geranium, alum root, alum bloom, shameface, rockweed, crow foot, and most wonderful of all, old maid's nightcap.  Top

How to Grow Cranesbill

These seeds need cold stratification or outdoor treatment to germinate. Wet and wring out a paper towel and sprinkle the seeds in it. Fold closed and place in a thin plastic bag (don't seal the bag). Sandwich bags work best. Put in the coldest part of the fridge (not the freezer) for 90 days or more dependably, outside in late fall in a protected area like an unheated garage, shed, or covered porch. Check for germination in early spring and carefully transplant germinated seeds to seed starting mix. Put in indirect light until big enough to transplant to the ground, where it needs rich, moist soil in shade. Cranesbill blooms spring to early summer. Flowers can be pink or violet depending on soil acidity and attract honeybees and bumblebees. This magic herb gets 12-18"/30-45cm tall, and mature plants are about 18"/45cm wide. It spreads readily but is not a pest. An open woodland plant, it likes light shade or even partial sun (in cooler areas). It can be propagated by dividing roots in spring or fall; cut where roots branch at right angles. It's perennial down to -40C/-40F (zone 3).  General growing info. Top

Geranium maculatum
30 seeds $3.75

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Uses in Witchcraft & Magic:

Love Spells
Venus Herb

2016m 2017 Harold A. Roth; No reproduction without permission