Geranium maculatum

 Wild geranium

Names and Myths

Geranium From the Greek geranos or crane - refers to the seed case, which resembles a cranes bill, maculatum spotted, or mottled, referring to the coloration of the leaves. This is a true geranium, the plants of hanging baskets and window boxes are pelargoniums not geraniums17

Natural history / Folklore

The tannin content of the root varies seasonally, peaking just before flowering.29 Large amount of tannin in root has resulted in its use as an astringent,29 and a cold sore treatment.12 The shape of the seed pod resembles a crane’s bill, when ripe the pod springs open tossing the seeds into the air. The seeds have an awn (a tail) that pushes the seed along the ground until it becomes lodged in a crack or other tight spot.17

Species List Family Group
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Spring and early summer, rose-purple flowers, leaves deeply cleft with 3-5 lobes, common in woods and meadows.