Scientific Name: Geranium carolinianum

Common Name: Carolina geranium

Other Common Names: Carolina cranesbill, cranesbill

Habit: This freely branching biennial, flowers from May until August. Although usually biennial, they can also be found as winter or summer annuals.

Leaves: The leaves are alternate towards the bottom forming a basal rosette, while leaves on flowering stems are opposite. Hairy on both sides, leaves grow from 2.5 to 7 cm in diameter and are usually deeply divided into 5 to 9 lobed or toothed segments. The leaves are usually green but often have red hues. The round stems are green, light pink, or red and are densely covered in hair. Two stipules are present at the base of leaf stalks.

Identifying Characteristics: Carolina geranium is distinguished from dovefoot geranium and smallflower geranium by its dissected leaves and sepals with long awn-like tips. Carolina geranium is very similar to dissected geranium and differs only in that sepals and carpels of dissected geranium are totally glandular while in Carolina geranium these are mostly nonglandular.

Flower Seed Head: Two or more flowers can usually be found clustered at the tips of stems or branches. The five petals are usually whitish pink to purple and about 4 to 6 mm long. Sepals are 5 to 7 mm long and tipped with a sharp awn-like structure that is 1 to 2 mm long. The hairs on sepals are typically not glandular although a few glandular hairs may be found. The carpel is covered with nonglandular hairs.

Seed Fruit: Fruit are produced at the base of long styles, giving the appearance of a stork's bill. When ripe, the fruit splits into 5 sections each containing a single light to dark brown, oval seed.

Where Found: This plant can be found in disturbed areas such as; roadsides, gardens, and pastures.

  • Life cycle: biennial

  • Milky sap: Not Present

  • Plant type: Herb

  • Thorns: Not Present

  • Plant family: Geraniaceae

  • Leaf arrangement: opposite; alternate

  • Leaf shape: heart

  • Ochrea: Not Present

  • Leaf margin: serrated; lobed

  • Stem hairs: has hairs

  • Flower color: blue; white; purple

  • Growth habit: prostrate and nonwoody; upright and nonwoody

  • Stem: round or oval

  • Leaf structure: palmate

  • Leaf hairs: has hairs

  • Flower diameter: pencil

  • Flower symmetry: radial symetery

  • Root structure: taproot

  • Leaf stalk: none; shorter than leaf