Geranium maculatum - Wild Geranium

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Geranium maculatum has several common names: Wild geranium, spotted geranium, crane's-bill. It is a common woodland native herbaceous perennial plant that blooms in spring.


The flowers are lavender-pink and about 1 to 1.5 inches wide. The 5 petals have radiating streaks which guide insects to the nectar. There are 5 hairy nectar glands between the bases of the petals.

There are 10 stamens in 2 whorls of 5. The anthers are yellow and turn brown with age. The 1 pistil is formed from 5 fused carpels. A carpel each has an ovary, a style and a stigma. So there are 5 of each.

The 5 sepals have non glandular hairs, and have spine-like tips.

Flower development (type Protandrous):

The second photo shows the sepals and hairs. 

Geranium maculatum - Wild Geranium - Flower cluster, infloresence, close up Geranium maculatum - Wild Geranium -  Flowers sepals

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The following photos show fruit formation and seed dispersal

Geranium maculatum - Wild Geranium fruit Geranium maculatum - Wild Geranium fruit

Geranium maculatum - Wild Geranium fruit: Daniel L. Nickrent,PhytoImages, Geranium maculatum - Wild Geranium fruit


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The plant has many large basal leaves on long petioles (leaf stalks). The leaves are deeply cut with usually 5 main lobes.

Just below the flower on the flower stalk, there is a pair of smaller leaves with short petioles. These leaves are similar in shape but usually with only 3 main lobes.

Geranium maculatum - Wild Geranium  basal leaves Geranium maculatum - Wild Geranium  basal leaves


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Plant and Habitat

The plant grows to be about 1 to 2 ft tall. It grows in woodland areas in semi-shade

Geranium maculatum - Wild Geranium


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White Flowers

The white flowered form, Geranium maculatum forma albiflorum, is uncommon.   This was seen in the Great Smoky Mountains.

Geranium maculatum forma albiflorum - Wild Geranium, white form



Unless otherwise stated, all photos by H & M Ling, mainly May for flowers and June for fruit, Somerset, NJ

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Additional information

Additional online information / references:

The USDA website shows the distribution in the US and Canada:

Plant description:

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