Cranesbill

From Academic Kids

Cranesbills

Flower and leaf of Herb Robert
(Geranium robertianum)
Scientific classification
Kingdom:Plantae
Division:Magnoliophyta
Class:Magnoliopsida
Order:Geraniales
Family:Geraniaceae
Genus:Geranium
L., 1753
Species

See list

The cranesbills make up the genus Geranium of 422 species of annual, biennial, and perennial plants found throughout the temperate regions of the world and the mountains of the tropics, but mostly in the eastern part of the Mediterranean.

Confusingly, "geranium" is also the common name of members of the genus Pelargonium, which were formerly classified in the cranesbill genus.

One can make the distinction between the two by looking at the flowers : Geranium has symmetrical flowers, while Pelargonium has irregular or maculate petals.

Missing image
Illustration_Geranium_phaeum0.jpg
Geranium phaeum - from Thom
Flora von Deutschland, sterreich und der Schweiz 1885

Other former members of the genus are now classified in genus Erodium, including the plants known as filarees in North America.

The name "cranesbill" derives from the appearance of the seed-heads, which have the same shape as the bill of a Crane. The genus name is derived from the Greek word geranos, meaning 'crane'.

The long, palmately cleft leaves are broadly circular in form. Their rose, pink to blue or white flowers have 5 petals.

These attractive flowers will grow in any soil as long as it is not waterlogged.

Propagation is by semi-ripe cuttings in summer, by seed or by division in autumn or spring.

Missing image
Geranium_platypetalum1.jpg
Geranium platypetalum
Missing image
Geranium_sanguineum0.jpg
Geranium sanguineum)


Missing image
Johnson's_Blue.jpg
Johnson's Blue (garden hybrid of Geranium pratense )
Missing image
Geranium_sylvaticum_closeup.JPG
Geranium sylvaticum

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References

External links

da:Storkenb (Geranium) de:Storchschnabel nl:Ooievaarsbek

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