Wild Geranium. Geranium maculatum L.

Figure 118.—Wild geranium (Geranium maculatum)

Other Common Names

Crane's-bill, spotted crane's-bill, wild crane's-bill, stork's-bill, spotted geranium, alumroot, alum-bloom, chocolate-flower, crowfoot, dove's-foot, old-maid's-nightcap, shameface

Habitat And Range

Wild geranium flourishes in low grounds and open woods from Newfoundland to Manitoba and south to Georgia and Missouri.


This plant, although generally only about a foot in height will sometimes reach a height of 2 feet. It is erect, usually unbranched, and hairy. The leaves, which are 3 to 6 inches wide, are deeply parted into three or five divisions, each of which is again cleft and toothed. The rose-purple, pale or violet-purple flowers, which appear from April to June, are borne in loose clusters and are from 1 to 1 1/2 inches wide. The fruit capsule, which springs open when ripe, consists of five cells each containing one seed. The rootstock is 2 to 4 inches long, thick, with numerous branches and with sears showing the remains of stems of previous years. When dry it has a somewhat purplish color internally.

Part Used

The root, collected just before the flowering period.