Wild Geranium Weed or

Wild Geranium Weed or

Wild Geranium Weed

Wild Geranium (Geranium maculatum) is a perennial broadleaf weed native to the eastern United States that is often grown as an ornamental. It prefers moist, wooded areas but can also grow in full sun and commonly invades garden beds and lawns. The hairy stems are green and pink in color, while the leaves are bright green and deeply lobed. Small clusters of pretty pink to purple flowers bloom from spring into fall. Wild geranium spreads by underground stems and seeds. Wild geranium is in the Geraniaceae (Geranium) family. This family contains about 650 species worldwide that range from small weedy herbs to succulent shrubs. They are found worldwide. The garden geranium, with roots in South Africa, is in this family, but belongs to a different genus (Pelargonium). About 50 species and varieties are known from North America and Hawai'i, including a number of introduced weeds. This geranium species is found from North and South Dakota, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Louisiana east to the Atlantic with the exception of Florida. It is also known from Ontario and Quebec.



This cropped up while my Trainee and I were weeding the Rose Knots the other day: when learning to be a Professional Gardener, it's essential to know what is a weed, and what isn't, and there's quite a lot of skill involved in identifying early weed seedlings, so when I am feeling mean (*laughs*) I do what I call "point and shoot" where I point to one weed or plant after another, and my Trainee has to see if they can get the names right.Geranium maculatum is not a weed; it is a native wildflower, and one of the best. I have never heard it called "Carolina Geranium" before. Is this something new? This reminds me of those who call Gelsemium sempervirens "Carolina Jasmine" instead of what it really is, "Yellow Jessimine", Jasmine and Jessimine are not een in the same family; one is in the Jasminum family (as Jasmine is), and one is in the Gelsemium family, like Yellow Jessimine.

I'm sorry my uppity side has to come out, but this things really are annoying to me. If things like this are not corrected, plants (and other things) will lose their proper names forever; no one will know a thing, and we'll all live in complete ignorance about the Plant World. And, one more thing....I looked at that plant that looks like the native Geranium again, and I've changed my mind. The native Geranium has a more upright habit, rather than prostrate. It could just be the photo, but now I'm inclined to think it's something else - it still may be something you like, though, so just wait and see.I am relieved to know that people haven't started calling our native Geranium maculatum "Carolina Geranium." Whew! I'm glad to know, too, that it's Geranium carolinianum that's considered a weed and not Geranium maculatum. I have Geranium carolinianum around also, and I knew it was a Geranium but didn't know it had a common name. It's really quite pretty if you get down an examine it closely, but the flowers are so tiny that it's not very noticeable in a garden, although I've thought a time or two about digging it up and putting it in mine. (Source: www.gardenofaaron.com)



Related Articles