Random Plant: Spotted geranium

Spotted geranium (Geranium maculatum, Geraniaceae) photographed 05/07/2011 near Blissfield Michigan.

While some geraniums are common garden plants introduced from South Africa, they have many lesser-known wild cousins that are native to North America.  One that I often find in mesic woodlands in southeast Michigan is the spotted geranium (Geranium maculatum, Geraniaceae).

Spotted geranium (Geranium maculatum, Geraniaceae) photographed 05/07/2011 near Blissfield Michigan.

Wild geraniums in the genus Geranium are known as cranesbills, or the true geraniums.  They have flowers that are radially symmetric (actinomorphic), like those shown here.  Garden geraniums in the genus Pelargonium are known as storksbills or scented geraniums.  They have bilaterally symmetric (zygomorphic) flowers.  The “birdbill” names come from the alleged resemblance of the fruiting bodies to the beaks of those birds.

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About Jeremy Sell

Science and nature nerd.
This entry was posted in Botany, Random Plant and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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