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Geranium maculatum

Common Name(s):
Crane's bill geranium, Cranesbill, Wild geranium
Groundcover, Native Plants, Perennials, Wildflowers

A woodland perennial flower in the Geraniaceae family that will naturalize in optimum growing conditions. Flowers give way to distinctive, beaked seed capsules which give rise to the common name of crane's bill. Deadheading is tedious and probably unnecessary since plants usually do not repeat bloom. Dry soil can lead to foliage may yellow in hot summers. Foliage may yellow and die back after flowering anyway in hot summer climates so cut back and shape it to revitalize.  Works well in part shade areas of borders and woodland gardens. Plant a large number to mass for a showy ground cover.

Seasons of Interest:

   Foliage: Fall    Bloom: Spring, April-May

Wildlife Value: Nectar from flowers attract butterflies and bees.  Members of the genus Geranium support the following specialized bee: Andrena (Ptilandrena) distans.  Tolerates damage by deer and rabbits.

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems: No serious insect or disease problems but watch for snails and slugs. Rust and leaf spot may occur. 

This plant may be confused with: Geranium sanguineum

Spring, summer
1-2 ft.
Flower Color:
Pink to lilac purple
Pair of deeply 5-parted and sharply toothed leaves, 3-6 in. long; hairy stem; leaves at the base are long-stalked. Attractive fall color.
1 in. lavender-purple to pink flowers 5 petaled; saucer-shaped, upward facing, in spring for a period of 6-7 weeks. The slender capsules that follow resemble a crane's bill
Rich, moist soil humusy soils; partial shade to shade. Tolerates poor dry soils.
Full sun to partial shade
Tolerates dry
Growth Rate:
Life Cycle:
Annual or perennial
woodland, rabbit, bees, fall color, drought tolerant, nectar, pollinator, specialized bees, dry soil, deer resistant, fall interest, butterflies, wildlife

NCCES plant id: 2585

Geranium manculatum Geranium manculatum
Natural England, CC BY-NC-ND - 2.0
Geranium manculatum Geranium manculatum
Gwen Pearson, CC BY-NC-2.0
Geranium manculatum leaf Leaf
Bill Barber, CC BY-NC-2.0
Geranium manculatum blooms and buds Flowers
Trisha, CC BY-ND-2.0
Geranium manculatum bloom and buds Open flower showing stamens and flower buds
DrewsTheOne_, CC BY-NC-ND - 2.0
Geranium manculatum bloom and leaves Flower and leaves
Marilylle Soveran, CC BY-NC-2.0
Geranium manculatum fall color Geranium manculatum fall color
Marilylle Soveran, CC BY-NC-2.0