Saturday, July 28, 2007

The wild Geranium, Geranium carolinianum, Carolina Geranium

After I bought the Geranium pratense 'Hocus Pocus', I noticed a small volunteer Geranium leafed plant in one of our planting beds when I was weeding. I thought it might be interesting to compare a wild Geranium with a cultivated one so I left it alone. The flowers were so tiny as to be inconspicuous from standing height. It was light pink in color. Later the cranesbill remnants of the flower turned a orangeish brown with black seeds and was larger and much more striking than the actual flower.

It is definitely considered a weed and those five black seeds look certainly like they could germinate easily so I'll have to get rid of the plant soon. It was interesting to see just how how different the species can be.

I couldn't see that the seeds and sepal were very hairy with the naked eye but the macro lens revealed just how hairy they are. Apparently the single style is not single at all but 5 separate styles connected to the five black seeds.

The seeds and sepals are actually quite attractive in my mind but the gangly spreading plant is unattractive and untidy so it will have to be pulled. The long petiole is characteristic of the plant as are the very tiny flowers which I missed photographing.

In the upper left corner of the first photo you can see the green sepal and style of the flower soon after blooming, before it turns the nice brown orange color.

Here are a couple of web sites that have more information on the G. carolinianum. site.

From the site.


Anonymous Pam/Digging said...

In your second picture, they look like some sort of long-nosed insect. Kinda pretty though.

10:46 PM  
Blogger Ki said...

Hi Pam,
Hmmm, insects mimic plants so I wonder if this plant mimicking insects? ;) I do think the color is very nice contrasted by the black seeds, green foilage and reddish stems. If it weren't a weed I would keep it. Thanks for stopping by.

9:57 AM  
Blogger kate said...

I love the colour of these seeds. They are beautiful - I'd have trouble getting rid of them, but then would probably regret it come next spring!

7:09 PM  
Blogger Ki said...

Hi Kate,
I think they're quite attractive in the seed stage but I don't want to fight them next year so I pulled up the plant yesterday. It came up rather easily so the root system must not be very robust. Odd that the cultivated 'Hocus Pocus' doesn't seem to produce seed. The calyx is not as colorful as the wild Geranium and it looks withered and seedless. I guess it may be a sterile hybrid. I wouldn't mind if 'HP' produced more seedlings. Thanks for stopping by.

4:40 AM  

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