Geranium maculatum L. - Wild Geranium

Geranium maculatum plant

Family - Geraniaceae

Stems - To 60cm tall, erect,multiple from base, herbaceous, hirsute to retrorse pubescent, angled, from rhizomes.

Geranium maculatum stem

Leaves - Opposite, petiolate. Petioles to 30cm long(on basal leaves), shorter above, hirsute. Blades palmately 5-7-lobed, pubescent. Lobes with margins entire in basal half, coarse serrate and often lobed in upper half. Margins antrorse strigose.

Geranium maculatum leaf

Inflorescence - Terminal corymb of 1-4 flowers. Pedicels erect, hirsute. Each division subtended by linear bracts to 7mm long.

Flowers - Petals 5, free, obovate, cuneate, to 2cm long, 1.5cm broad, glabrous, rounded to emarginate or truncate at apex, lilac to rose-purple. Stamens 10, 5 with glandular bases. Filaments broad and ciliate-margined at base, to 6mm long, tuberculate above, white. Anthers 1.5mm broad, 3mm long, light brown. Carpels 5. Styles to 2mm long, connate. Stigma 5-lobed. Sepals 5, free, imbricate, elliptic-ovate, entire, glabrous externally, dense pubescent internally, aristate, to 1.3cm long (including arista), 4mm broad. Margins long ciliate. Fruit erect, with long style column, pubescent. Seeds to 3mm long, glabrous.

Geranium maculatum calyxCalyx.

Geranium maculatum flowerYoung flower.

Geranium maculatum flowerOlder flower.

Flowering - April - June.

Habitat - Rich to rocky open woods, thickets, ravines.

Origin - Native to U.S.

Other info. - This is a common plant in Missouri and can be found throughout the entire state. The plant is becoming popular in cultivation also because of its striking purplish flowers. There is a white flowered form, form albiflorum (Raf.) House, which has not been found in Missouri. Our plants belong to form maculatum.
The plant is super high in tannins and has been used medicinally to treat diarrhea, gum diseases, canker sores, and many other ailments.

Photographs taken at the Kansas City Zoo, 4-28-00, and at Charrette Creek, MO., 4-17-04.


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