Geranium carolinianum L.

Geranium carolinianum plant

Family - Geraniaceae

Stems - From a big taproot, multiple from the base, erect to ascending, herbaceous, often reddish, widely branching, densely glandular and simple pubescent, terete, to +50cm tall (long).

Geranium carolinianum stem

Leaves - Alternate, petiolate, stipulate. Stipules to 1cm long, subulate, 3mm broad at the base, ciliate at least on one margin, often pinkish. Petioles to +15cm long, terete, pubescent as the stem. Blades palmately 5-lobed, as broad or broader than long, to +/-5cm broad and long, pubescent mostly on the veins abaxially and at the base of the leaf, the adaxial surface sparsely pubescent. Veins of the blade impressed above, expressed below. Lobes of leaf divided again. Ultimate divisions of the leaf often with a minute reddish tip, subacute to acute.

Geranium carolinianum leaves

Inflorescence - Paired pedunculate flowers. Peduncle expanding to +5cm long in fruit, densely simple and glandular pubescent. Ciliate subulate bracts subtending the pedicels. Pedicels to 1cm long in fruit, pubescent as the peduncle.

Flowers - Petals 5, distinct, pale pink, slightly emarginate at the apex, glandular externally, glabrous internally, to 3-4mm long, 2mm broad. Stamens 10, erect, surrounding the ovary. Filaments compressed and expanded at the base, green to pinkish, ciliate. Anthers pinkish-yellow, .7mm broad and long. Ovary superior, densely long ciliate (non-glandular), 5-carpellate. Carpels green, ovoid. Styles 5, green, glabrous at the apex, united at the base. Sepals 5, erect, oblong-ovate, with a 1-2mm long mucro, accrescent, +/-5mm long in flower, to 1cm long in fruit, 4-5mm broad (in fruit), ciliate externally (some glandular), very sparse pubescent to glabrous internally. Carpels in fruit to 4mm long, becoming black, densely long ciliate (some glandular), expanded style tube to -2cm long, pubescent and with a few glandular hairs.

Geranium carolinianum flower

Geranium carolinianum calyxCalyx.

Geranium carolinianum fruitDeveloping fruits.

Flowering - May - July.

Habitat - Meadows, prairies, fields, pastures, waste ground, roadsides, railroads.

Origin - Native to U.S.

Other info. - This weedy yet showy species can be found throughout most of Missouri but is less common in the north-central portion of the state. The plant can be identified by its hairy stems, divided leaves, pinkish flowers, tapered sepals, and non-reticulate fruits. This is the most abundant Geranium in Missouri.

Photographs taken along Hwy 29 near Greensboro, NC., 4-20-03.