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Hedgerow Cranesbill

Geranium pyrenaicum

  • Written also: Hedgerow Crane’s-bill
  • Family: Geranium Family – Geraniaceae
  • Growing form: Biennial or perennial herb. Rootstock short, erect, covered by the remains of the leaves.
  • Height: 20–40 cm (8–15 in.). Stalk ascending–erect, bristly, spreading hairs, becoming more glabrous with age.
  • Flower: Regular (actinomorphic), 15–20 mm (0.6–0.8 in.) wide. Petals 5, whitish purple, deeply lobed. Sepals 5, about half length of petals. Stamens 10. Pistil of 5 fused carpels, style solitary, 5 stigmas. Flowers usually in axillary pairs or threesomes, or terminal on shoots.
  • Leaves: In basal rosette and opposite on stem. Basal leaves long-stalked. Stalk leaves short-stalked–almost stalkless, stipulate. Blade roundish–kidney-shaped, with palmate venation, soft hairs, 5–9-lobed halfway; lobes broad.
  • Fruit: 5-parted schizocarp, beak-like tip, beak segments coil at dehiscence. Mericarps glossy, finely haired.
  • Habitat: Gardens, yards, parks, roadsides, forest margins. Also ornamental.
  • Flowering time: June–September.

Hedgerow cranesbill has most likely arrived in Finland and the Nordic countries in general with people. It’s possible that it’s native to the south of Finland, but in any case its original area of distribution has been a lot smaller than it is today. Hedgerow cranesbill is nowadays quite widely spread, although it is rather rare and grows sporadically. It is not a particularly popular ornamental plant in Finland, even though it has few demands and its long flowering time compensates for the small size of its flowers.

Hedgerow cranesbill can be confused with small annual and biennial members of the Geranium family that grow as weeds in mainly the same habitats. The most common of these in Finland are small-flowered cranesbill (G. pusillum) and sometimes Dove’s-foot cranesbill (G. molle), although their flowers are clearly smaller and their petals are not deeply lobed.

Other species from the same genus
Other species from the same family

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