Friday, June 13, 2008

Carolina Cranesbill (Geranium carolinianum)

(Photo from 5/16/08)

Carolina Cranesbill (Geranium carolinianum)

This native annual qualifies as a noxious weed in just about everybody's opinion, but I like it. Admittedly, the little purple bloom isn't very showy, but when the plant is past it's prime and begins drying out, the leaves and stems reveal attractive reds and yellowish browns.

(Photo from 5/23/06)

In keeping with it's status as a weed, this wild geranium grows almost everywhere throughout North America and actually prefers poor soil that is gravelly, sandy or contains hardpan clay. It is right at home in dry open woodlands, upland clay prairiers, gravel prairies, limestone glades, abandoned fields, roadsides and other wasteland areas. The harsh growing conditions Carolina Cranesbill thrives upon help eliminate competition from other plants. It reseeds itself aggressively. It's seeds develope within a long, narrow beak. Hence, the common name of cranesbill.

Sources and links:
Illinois Wildflowers
Missouri Flora
USDA Plant Profile

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8 comments:

Lisa at Greenbow said...

I like those seed pods Marvin.

Abraham Lincoln said...

I saw some "weeds" at Aullwood Audubon Nature Farm the other day and took pictures of them and the signs that explain what they are. At least I hope I can remember them this way.

smilnsigh said...

They are pink.

Therefore I love them.

Yes, I have a very simple criteria.

Mari-Nanci
'Smilnsigh' blog

Pat - An Arkansas Stamper said...

Interesting information and good shots of the "weed." The seed pods photo, when enlarged (thank you for making it possible to do that) is amazing in its detail; better seen than with the naked eye.

"May all your weeds be wildflowers."

Lana Gramlich said...

You are SO "the man!" I've seen these all over our yard (in their post-flower state) & couldn't figure out what they were to save my life! I totally owe you a beer! Thanks, Marvin!

Sandpiper said...

These are beautiful!

Small City Scenes said...

We have them out here too. there are so many varieties too. Most can be very invasive. Some are weeds, some are not. but I like them. MB

Pat - An Arkansas Stamper said...

Thanks for your visits to my blog, Marvin. Yes, the thunderstorm hit us before midnight last night. It contained lots of rain; the weather service issued a Flood Warning for our county (which covers quite a bit of territory.) Overcast but not raining at present.