Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Carolina Crane's-bill - Geranium carolinianum   L.
Members of Geraniaceae:
Members of Geranium with account distribution info or public map:
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Section 6 » Order Geraniales » Family Geraniaceae
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DistributionStatewide, certainly occurs in all 100 counties.

This is a very widespread species, ranging from MA to the West Coast, and south to FL and CA.
AbundanceVery common in the Coastal Plain and Piedmont, and common in the Mountains.
HabitatThis is a native weed of disturbed habitats. It is found in lawns, weedy fields, roadsides, pastures, and other similar places.
PhenologyBlooms from March to June, and occasionally later in the season; fruits soon after flowering.
IdentificationThis is a very familiar species across the state, probably confusable only with a few exotic species. It is branched from the base, with several basal leaves, and each stem reaches about 1 foot tall, rarely taller. The stem and branches are very pubescent. The stem leaves are opposite, and all leaves have long petioles (often about 2 inches long) and a highly dissected blade with 5-9 main lobes or segments (like a German cross), and each lobe even somewhat further cleft. Each leaf is about 2 inches across and long. From the leaf axils grow the dense flower clusters on very long stalks, often about 3 inches long and carrying the flowers above the leaves. The flower is pale pink to whitish, about 2/5-inch across, with 5 broad petals. The leaves look somewhat like those of the native G. maculatum, but that species is a larger and more robust plant of rich hardwood forests, and it has a much larger and brighter rose-colored flower.
Taxonomic CommentsNone

Other Common Name(s)Carolina Geranium
State RankS5
Global RankG5
State Status
US Status
County Map - click on a county to view source of record.
Photo Gallery
B.A. SorrieAnother roadside in Moore Co. 13 June 2010. MoorePhoto_natural
B.A. SorrieRoadside and weedy field. 15 April 2015. MoorePhoto_natural
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