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Weed Identification

dovefoot geranium



Scientific Name

Geranium molle


Dovefoot geranium are usually found growing in pastures, turf, or disturbed sites. Seeds germinate in fall and spring and grow through the winter to bloom in early summer. Flowering occurs from April until July. Above-ground foliage dies back during late summer. Plants may act as biennials and are often found growing from a taproot.


Leaves are rounded and hairy on both surfaces. Leaf clefts or lobes are rounded and shallow giving the leaf an overall round shape. Leaves are born on long petioles. Leaves form a basal rosette when plants are young.

Identifying Characteristics

Dovefoot geranium is similar to smallflower geranium except that the carpel body of dovefoot geranium is smooth and that of smallflower geranium has very short hairs. Carolina geranium and dissected geranium differ in that their leaves are deeply dissected, sepals have long awn-like tips, and carpels are covered in hair (gland-tipped in dissected geranium).

Flower Seed Head

Flowers are produced in clusters of one or two where stems terminate. Flowers are pale pink and sepals have a sharp point but lack the longer awn-like tip of Carolina geranium and dissected geranium. The carpel body is hairless.

Seed Fruit

Fruit have long beaks and the carpel body is smooth. Seeds are smooth.

Where Found

A weed of lawns and pastures, dovefoot geranium can be found in mountains and piedmont areas.

Growth Habit

prostrate and nonwoody

Thorns or Spines

not present

Approximate Flower Diameter


Dominant Flower Color


Flower Symmetry

radial symmetery

Leaf Hairs

has hairs

Leaf Margin


Leaf Stalk

longer than leaf

Stem Hairs

has hairs
no hairs

Stem Cross Section

round or oval

Milky Sap

not present

Root Structure


Life Cycle

winter annual


not present

Plant Type