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Native Geranium OR

Native Geranium OR

Native Geranium

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So, you may be asking yourself, Who is this dot-com we’ve never heard of before, and why are they in charge of my geranium?Use Medicinal: Entire plant was boiled to make tea for diarrhea. (Weiner) Roots steeped in water used as a rinse for diarrhea and inflamed gums. (Weiner) Tea used as rinse for sore throat, thrush, and mouth ulcers.(Weiner) Dried, powdered roots applied to bleeding blood vessels to promote coagulation. (Weiner) This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1 (Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here for map of regions. These colonies are formed of groups of long-lived clones that have grown from individual plants. It is not an effective colonizer and is rarely found in disturbed areas. G. maculatum was used medicinally by Native Americans to treat diarrhea and open sores or wounds.

Plant

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Geranium maculatum is an herbaceous perennial native to deciduous woodlands of eastern North America, from southern Ontario south to Georgia and west to eastern Oklahoma and the eastern part of the Dakotas in zones 3 to 8. It is found in most of Wisconsin except for a few of the northern counties. Wild geranium is the showiest of the native geraniums with larger flowers than the other species. Known by many different common names including alum root, alum bloom, cranesbill, spotted cranesbill, wild cranesbill, spotted geranium, wild geranium, wood geranium, and other local colloquial names, this clump-forming plant in the geranium family (Geraniaceae) is usually very abundant in dense patches in natural woodland openings. Although a native plant in our area, wild geranium is easily cultivated and can be grown as an ornamental plant in gardens. Plant it in rich soil with plenty of organic matter in full sun or light shade and provide plenty of moisture for the best growth. Plants flower more prolifically the more sun they receive. This species will naturalize under optimum growing situations but is never invasive. It requires little maintenance. Deadheading is not recommended as plants do not normally repeat bloom.

Use G. maculatum in shady borders, native plant gardens or open woodland gardens. It can be massed to create a ground cover. In its native habitat it is frequently found in association with bellwort (Uvularia grandiflora), bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis), Solomon’s seal, (Polygonatum spp.), false Solomon’s seal (Smilacina racemosa), ferns, Trillium grandiflorum, common mayapple (Podophyllum peltatum), and woodland phlox (Phlox divaricata). In gardens it combines well with these and other native plants found in open woods and with exotic ornamentals such as celandine poppy (Stylophorum diphyllum), columbine (Aquilegia spp.), foam flower (Tiarella spp.), goat’s beard (Aruncus dioicus), and violets. Wild geranium is propagated from divisions of the rhizomes or from seed. Divide roots in in early spring or fall, cutting them where they form right angles. Seed can be purchased or collected in the wild. Because the fruits are dehiscent, they should be collected before splitting open (as they begin to darken, about a month after flowering) and kept in a paper bag to contain the seeds when the fruits explode open. Seed must be stratified in order to germinate, with higher germination rates the longer the cold period. Sowing outdoors in the fall is the easiest with no artificial stratification needed. In the wild young plants bloom in their second or third year but when grown in a garden often will bloom in the first year. (Source: hort.extension.wisc.edu)

 

 

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