Geranium maculatum, Wild or Spotted Geranium

Tried and True Native Plant Selections for the Mid-Atlantic 

This lovely and adaptable native wildflower grows in deciduous woods and dappled meadows throughout the eastern half of North America.  Its alternative common name, Cranesbill, refers to its distinctive seed capsule, which resembles the bill of a crane.

Print Version: Geranium Maculatum, Wild or Spotted GeraniumGeranium Maculatum, Wild or Spotted Geranium, Perennial Height: 11⁄2–2 feet               Spread: 1–11⁄2 feet Bloom Color: Light pink, dark pink, lilac  Characteristics Clump-forming, semi-evergreen herbaceous perennial Palmately-lobed and coarsely-toothed, medium to dark green leaves Showy, saucer-shaped, five-petaled flowers bloom in loose clusters on upright stems April to July Explosive, beak-like, seed capsule Spreads by rhizomes, but not aggressively  Attributes Tolerates clay soil, poor soil, dry soil, drought, poor drainage, and rabbits; no serious pests or diseases; deer occasionally severely damage Ethnobotanic, therapeutic, and herbal uses Attracts bees, syrphid flies, and butterflies to flowers and mourning doves, quail, and deer to seeds; genus is larval host to 21 species of Lepidoptera  Growing and Maintenance Tips Soil Requirements: Well-drained, average Light Requirements: Sun, Partial Shade Water Requirements: Moist If sited in full sun, needs more moisture Foliage yellows or declines in heat and dry soil Use under trees (especially white oak) and in woodland gardens  Excellent Replacement for  Alliaria petiolata - Garlic Mustard  Vinca minor - Periwinkle  *It is native in DC. It is common throughout much of PA and in the DE Piedmont but is uncommon in the DE Coastal Plain. In VA it is common in the mountains and the Piedmont but rare in the Coastal Plain.

Learn more about other Mid-Atlantic plants: Tried and True Plant Fact Sheets.