The large, showy, rose purple flowers of the Wild Geranium enliven the monotony of low and shaded parts of moist, open woods and thickets, from April to July. They are odourless, and their colour varies greatly, according to the temperature of the season and their exposure to sunlight. The flower has five well-rounded, wedge-shaped petals. The latter are exceedingly delicate in texture, and show five fine, transparent lines spreading from the whitish base which is slightly fuzzy or bearded. Ten spreading, violet-tipped stamens, five of which are shorter than the rest, surround a slender, five-pointed, green pistil. This remarkable pistil grows an inch or more in length, and as the fruit matures, it suddenly splits upward from the base in five recurved parts, snapping the seeds sharply in various directions. This is one way in which the plants spread and increase by their own effort. The shape of this curious pistil created the name of Crane's-bill. Geranium is the Greek word for crane, and maculatum alludes to the peculiar white spots and blotches so often found on the leaves. The calyx is five-parted, and hairy. Each part or sepal terminates with a sharp, bristling point. The single stalk branches at the union of a pair of short-stemmed leaves, and each of the several branches is often forked, causing the flowers to occur very commonly in pairs. The grooved stalk is stout-fibred, and rises a foot or two in height. Excepting the petals, the entire plant is covered with minute, whitish hairs. The large, spreading, coarsely veined leaf is deeply divided into three or more, usually five, sections, each of which is again cleft into three more or less sharply notched lobes. The basal leaves are long-stemmed. The general colour is a medium light green above, and of a lighter shade on the under side. In autumn they turn to a brilliant scarlet, and are particularly attractive. The Crane's-bill is very touchy, and wilts hopelessly almost as soon as picked. The flowers are very fragile, and the petals usually drop away upon the slightest provocation. The thick, brownish, fleshy rootstock has a puckery taste, strongly suggesting that of alum, and for this reason it is known as Alum Root. It is considered one of our most desirable astringents, and owing to its lack of bitterness, it is especially adapted for infants and for persons having very delicate stomachs. It is a popular domestic remedy, and is said to have been used by the Indians. It is found more or less commonly from Newfoundland and Manitoba, south to Georgia, Alabama, and Missouri.