wild geranium

(Geranium maculatum)

Conservation Status
wild geranium
 
  IUCN Red List

not listed

     
  NatureServe

N5 - Secure

SNR - Unranked

     
  Minnesota

not listed

     
           
Wetland Indicator Status
     
  Great Plains

FACU - Facultative upland

     
  Midwest

FACU - Facultative upland

     
  Northcentral & Northeast

FACU - Facultative upland

     
           
 
Description
 
 

Wild geranium is a 12 to 28 tall, erect, perennial forb that produces multiple flowering stems from a stout rhizome.

The stems are green and up to 24 tall. The stems, basal leaf stalks, stem leaf stalks, and flower stalks all have coarse, white, non-glandular (not sticky) hairs.

A few basal leaves rise from the underground rhizome on long, up to 12, leaf stalks. They are palmately divided into 5 to 7 irregular, deep, wedge-shaped lobes. The lobes are not toothed, notched, or divided in the basal half, but are coarsely toothed and often have secondary lobes in the upper half. The upper surface of the leaves has fine white hairs. Older leaves sometimes have white spots, which gives this plant one of its common names, Spotted Geranium.

There is only a single pair of leaves on the stem. They are opposite and similar in appearance and features to the basal leaves, but are smaller and usually have only 3 lobes. They are on short leaf stalks.

The inflorescence is a flat or round topped cluster of 1 to 6 flowers at the end of a long stalk.

The flowers are 1 to 1½ wide with 5 petals and 5 green sepals.

The petals are rose-purple, pale purple, violet-purple or, rarely, white, with darker fine lines radiating from the center of the flower and acting as nectar guides.

The fruit is a 1 to 1½ long, erect capsule in the shape of a crane’s bill, giving this plant another of its common names, Wild Crane’s-bill.

 
     
 

Height

 
 

12 to 28

 
     
 

Flower Color

 
 

Rose-purple, pale purple, violet-purple, or rarely white

 
     
 

Similar Species

 
 

Bicknell’s Cranesbill (Geranium bicknellii) has leafy stems and no basal leaves. The inflorescence is a 2-flowered cluster. The flowers are only to ½ wide. The flower petals are notched at the tip.

Carolina geranium (Geranium carolinianum) has leafy stems and no basal leaves. The leaves are divided into usually 5 to 9 deeply-cut lobes. The leaf margins have widely spaced, deeply-cut teeth, that may amount to secondary lobes. The inflorescence is a tight cluster of many flowers. The flowers are on short flower stalks that are less than half as long as the sepals. The flowers are dull white to light pink and only wide.

Meadow geranium (Geranium pratense), an introduced species, has glandular, sticky hairs on the flowering stalks and leaf stalks. The leaves are more finely cut. The petals are not marked with darker lines. It has been recorded only in St. Louis County.

Robert’s geranium (Geranium robertianum) has leafy stems and no basal leaves. The leaves are divided into usually 3 to 5 leaflets that are cut all the way to the base, with at least the terminal leaflet on an evident leaflet stalk. The leaflets are fern-like. The inflorescence is a 2-flowered cluster from the upper leaf axils. It has been recorded only in St. Louis County.

Siberian cranesbill (Geranium sibiricum) has leafy stems and no basal leaves. The flowers occur singly or in pairs. It has been recorded only in Houston and Goodhue Counties.

When not in flower wild geranium can be easily mistaken for Canada anemone (Anemone canadensis).

 
     
 
Habitat
 
 

Moderate moisture. Woods. Full to partial sun.

 
     
 
Biology
 
 

Flowering

 
 

April to June

 
     
 
Use
 
 

 

 
     
 
Distribution
 
 

Distribution Map

 

Sources

2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 24, 28.

 
  5/21/2020      
         
 

Nativity

 
 

Native

 
         
 

Occurrence

 
 

Common

 
         
 
Taxonomy
 
  Kingdom Plantae (green algae and land plants)  
  Subkingdom Viridiplantae (green plants)  
  Infrakingdom Streptophyta (land plants and green algae)  
  Superdivision Embryophyta (land plants)  
  Division Tracheophyta (vascular plants)  
  Subdivision Spermatophytina (seed plants)  
  Class Magnoliopsida (dicots)  
  Subclass Rosidae  
  Superorder Rosanae  
 

Order

Geraniales (geraniums, bridal wreaths, and allies)  
 

Family

Geraniaceae (geranium and cranesbill)  
 

Genus

Geranium  
  Subgenus Geranium  
  Section Geranium  
       
 

Subordinate Taxa

 
 

 

 
       
 

Synonyms

 
 

 

 
       
 

Common Names

 
 

alumroot

spotted crane’s-bill

spotted geranium

wild crane’s-bill

wild geranium

 
       

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

Palmately divided

Similar to a hand. Having more than three lobes that radiate from a single point at the base of the leaf.

 

Rhizome

A horizontal, usually underground stem. It serves as a reproductive structure, producing roots below and shoots above at the nodes.

 

Sepal

An outer floral leaf, usually green but sometimes colored, at the base of a flower.

       
Visitor Photos
   

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Wayne Rasmussen
       
  wild geranium   wild geranium
       
  wild geranium   wild geranium
       
Crystal Boyd
       
  wild geranium    
       
MinnesotaSeasons.com Photos
   

Habitat

  wild geranium    
       

Inflorescence

  wild geranium   wild geranium
       
  wild geranium    
       

Flower

  wild geranium   wild geranium
       
  wild geranium    
       

Early spring

  wild geranium   wild geranium
       
  wild geranium    
       
       

 

Camera

     
Slideshows
   
  Wild Geranium (Geranium manculatum)
Andree Reno Sanborn
 
  Wild Geranium (Geranium manculatum)  
     
  Spotted Geranium (Geranium maculatum)
Bill Keim
 
  Spotted Geranium (Geranium maculatum)  

 

slideshow

       
Visitor Videos
       

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Other Videos
 
  MyNature Apps; Identifying Wild Geranium, Geranium maculatum
MyNatureApps
 
   
 
About

Uploaded on May 31, 2011

How to identify Wild Geranium, Geranium maculatum also known as Spotted Geranium, Wood Geranium, Spotted Cranesbill or Wild Cranesbill. www.mynatureapps.com

   
       
  wild geranium (Geranium maculatum)
wvoutdoorman
 
   
 
About

Published on Apr 28, 2012

wild geranium (Geranium maculatum) in sprouting to blooming stage

   
       
  Wild Geranium
ThePlantVideos
 
   
 
About

Published on Jan 27, 2013

No description available.

   
       

 

Camcorder

         
Visitor Sightings
   

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Wayne Rasmussen
5/20/2018

Location: Maplewood Nature Center

wild geranium


Wayne Rasmussen
5/30/2016

Location: Maplewood Nature Center

wild geranium


Wayne Rasmussen
5/31/2016

Location: Nerstrand Big Woods State Park

wild geranium


Crystal Boyd
6/2/2013

Location: Pine Bend Bluffs SNA

wild geranium


     
     
 
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