Wild Geranium, Geranium    maculatum

Wild Geranium

Geranium maculatum

Benefits:
Sun Shade:
Bloom Time: Spring
Zones: 5
Soil Conditions: Loam
Soil Moisture: Medium
Color: Pink, Lavender
Fragrance: No
Height: 1.5 to 2 feet
Spacing: 1 foot


Description

Wild Geranium (Geranium maculatum) is a clump-forming woodland perennial which typically occurs in woods, thickets and shaded roadside areas. Forms a mound of foliage that grows to 24 inches tall and 18 inches wide. Features 1 ¼-inch diameter, pink to lilac, saucer-shaped, upward facing, 5-petaled flowers in spring for a period of 6-7 weeks. Deeply cut, palmately 5-lobed, dark green leaves (to 6 inches across). The blooming period occurs during the late spring to early summer, lasting about 1 month. The pistil of the flower elongates into a beak-like fruit about 1–1½ inches long. As it matures, the 5 slender carpels of this fruit curl upward and backward to fling the seeds from the mother plant. The seed surface is reticulated. The root system consists of a dark stout rootstock that produces rhizomes; it is high in tannins. This plant often forms colonies.

Easily grown in average, medium, well-drained soil in full sun to part shade. Prefers moist, humusy soils, but tolerates poor soils. Will naturalize in optimum growing conditions. Deadheading is tedious and probably unnecessary since plants usually do not repeat bloom. Foliage may yellow in hot summers if soil is allowed to dry out. Foliage may decline after flowering in hot summer climates, at which point it may be lightly sheared back and shaped to revitalize.

Habitats include both floodplain and upland woodlands, savannas, meadows in wooded areas, semi-shaded seeps, and rocky glades. Sometimes it invades hill prairies from adjacent wooded areas. Wild Geranium is a typical species of mesic deciduous woodlands.

Plant Notes and Herbal Uses
  White-tailed Deer occasionally browses on the foliage.
Further Information

Wild Ones of the Fox Valley Area
Prairie Nursery
Wisconsin DNR
Wisconsin Native Plant Nurseries