Not a large family, herbs, of temperate regions; leaves lobed or compound, usually with stipules; flowers perfect; sepals and petals usually five and stamens five or ten; ovary superior; fruit a capsule.

There are many kinds of Geranium; stems with swollen Joints; stipules papery; five glands on the receptacle, alternating with the petals; stamens ten, five long and five short, filaments united at base; ovary with a beak formed by the five-cleft style, and becoming a capsule, which splits open elastically, the style-divisions becoming tails on the seeds. The Greek name means "crane," in allusion to the long beak of the capsule, and these plants are often called Crane's-bill. Cultivated Geraniums are Pelargoniums, from South Africa.