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Wild Geranium

Geranium maculatum L.

Wild geranium
Figure 118.—Wild geranium (Geranium maculatum)
Other common names.—Crane's-bill, spotted crane's-bill, wild crane's-bill, stork's-bill, spotted geranium, alumroot, alum-bloom, chocolate-flower, crowfoot, dove's-foot, old-maid's-nightcap, shameface

Habitat and range.—Wild geranium flourishes in low grounds and open woods from Newfoundland to Manitoba and south to Georgia and Missouri.

Description.—This plant, although generally only about a foot in height will sometimes reach a height of 2 feet. It is erect, usually unbranched, and hairy. The leaves, which are 3 to 6 inches wide, are deeply parted into three or five divisions, each of which is again cleft and toothed. The rose-purple, pale or violet-purple flowers, which appear from April to June, are borne in loose clusters and are from 1 to 1 1/2 inches wide. The fruit capsule, which springs open when ripe, consists of five cells each containing one seed. The rootstock is 2 to 4 inches long, thick, with numerous branches and with sears showing the remains of stems of previous years. When dry it has a somewhat purplish color internally.

Part used.—The root, collected just before the flowering period.


Sievers, A.F. 1930. The Herb Hunters Guide. Misc. Publ. No. 77. USDA, Washington DC.
Last update Friday, April 3, 1998 by aw