Cranesbill Geraniums

Cranesbill Geraniums
Cranesbill Geraniums

These wonderful native wildflowers have naturalized around my yard, front and back. They are a geranium, though the flowers don’t group to form the characteristic round clusters of the showy geraniums we see all summer. Check the shape of the individual flowers though, and you’ll see they are nearly identical.

They are called a “cranesbill” geranium because the seed pods left behind have a small rounded shape at the bottom with a long pointed “beak” like the bill of a crane. And again, if you look at your summery geraniums you’ll see that the seed pod for these is similar as well.

These flowers prefer a partially shady moist area, and I’ve most often seen them in the woods along the trail. Many years ago at a friend’s home I dug up a few plants in the woods and planted them in my woodland garden. They have volunteered themselves here and there, and I have planted them in various spots as well. The plants stay bushy and green until late summer when the leaves turn orange and scarlet. These flowers are in the front, by the sidewalk where they get a good bit of reflected sunlight and are a brighter pink than the flowers in the back yard, and far more numerous.

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