Geraniums Everywhere

Members of the genus Geranium are commonly encountered; they can easily be distinguished by their dissected palmate leaves and weirdly elongated seed-pods, which due to a fancied resemblance causes several species to be known as cranesbills. I have long been familiar with Midwest woodland species of Geranium, such as the common Wood Geranium or Alum Root, which some refer to as the Old Maid’s Nightcap: Geranium maculatum.

Here in central New Mexico I’ve been seeing profuse growths of another species, one with a very spiny and elongated seed-pod. You might say that the pod is a caricature of the actual bill of a crane. I’m not sure of the species, but suspect that it’s a native of Europe that has found a new home in the US, as have so many other Europeans. Some cranesbill pods growing in front of stones in a gravelly campground:

Frankly the pods are more interesting and striking than the modest pale-purple flowers, though these can have some charm when growing en masse:


One comment on “Geraniums Everywhere

  1. Joan says:

    Who knew? These delicate blooms are a far cry from the over-convoluted hybreds that we call geraniums around here. Thanks.

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