Plant DetailShow Menu

Geranium carolinianum is often confused with:
Geranium maculatum Flowers
Plants that fill a similar niche:
Heuchera americana A cultivar with purple and silvery leaves
Silphium perfoliatum Form in bloom (Niagara Falls, ON)-Late Summer
Viola canadensis Viola canadensis
Geranium carolinianum has some common disease problems:
Southern Bacterial Wilt on Herbaceous Ornamental Plants

Carolina Cranesbill Geranium carolinianum

Other Common Name(s):

Phonetic Spelling
jer-AY-nee-um kair-oh-lin-ee-AN-um
Description

Carolina Geranium is a native herb found in eastern North America and all areas of NC in the cranesbill family. It is a multi-branched and sprawling pubescent annual, usually growing no taller than 1 ft. The white to pink flowers occur in tight clusters from spring into summer and the seed capsule has the usual beak giving it the common name of cranesbill. The genus name Geranium is derived from geranos, the Greek word for “crane.”

Carolina cranesbill prefers full sun to part shade in poorer soil that is gravelly, sandy, or contains hardpan clay. This reduces competition from other plants. This plant is sold commercially for home use but can become weedy due to reseeding. Use in naturalized areas for the best results. Bees and other pollinators visit the flowers and birds will eat the seeds.

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems: No significant problems

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#winter annual weed#aggressive#NC native#pollinator plant#naturalized area#cool season weed#NC Native Pollinator Plant#stormwater demo garden orange co#weed#pollinator garden
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#winter annual weed#aggressive#NC native#pollinator plant#naturalized area#cool season weed#NC Native Pollinator Plant#stormwater demo garden orange co#weed#pollinator garden
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Geranium
    Species:
    carolinianum
    Family:
    Geraniaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    Used in herbal medicine
    Life Cycle:
    Annual
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    North America
    Wildlife Value:
    Attracts pollinators and birds eat the seeds
    Edibility:
    Leaves are edible but bitter
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Annual
    Native Plant
    Weed
    Habit/Form:
    Erect
    Multi-stemmed
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Texture:
    Fine
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    Sand
    Shallow Rocky
    Soil pH:
    Alkaline (>8.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Occasionally Dry
    Available Space To Plant:
    Less than 12 inches
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Summer
    Fruit Type:
    Schizocarp
    Fruit Length:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    Upright capsule with persistent sepals at the base and a slender beak in the center. The capsule splits to throw seeds away from the plant
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Pink
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Solitary
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Long Bloom Season
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Cup
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    Five-petaled, pale pink or white flowers occur singly or in tight terminal clusters with very short petioles. March-July. The petals are notched, have darker venation and the 5 sepals can be as long as the petals. Flowers are about 1/3 inch across.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Red/Burgundy
    Leaf Feel:
    Soft
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Opposite
    Leaf Shape:
    Palmasect
    Leaf Margin:
    Lobed
    Hairs Present:
    Yes
    Leaf Length:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Width:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Leaves are palmately five-parted, these divisions being cleft or lobed again. The leaves are up to 3 inches wide and long. They can be alternate or opposite on the stem. Shape can be nearly round to kidney-shaped. Leaves can turn reddish with age, especially at the margins and are covered in fine hairs
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Green
    Red/Burgundy
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Cross Section:
    Round
    Stem Surface:
    Hairy (pubescent)
    Stem Description:
    Round green stems mature to reddish brown with white hairs
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Container
    Meadow
    Naturalized Area
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Drought Tolerant Garden
    Native Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Rock Garden
    Design Feature:
    Border
    Attracts:
    Bees
    Butterflies
    Pollinators
    Songbirds
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Drought
    Dry Soil
    Poor Soil
    Problems:
    Weedy