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Genus Geranium Family Geraniaceae
Common Name: Cranesbills, geraniums

Description: Annual or perennial herbs or shrubs, usually with one or more leaf-bearing stems from which arise 1 or more flowering stems.

Leaves opposite or alternate, usually simple and pinnately or palmately lobed or dissected or pinnately compound; leaves becoming smaller up stems.

Flowers in pairs or solitary. Flowers actinomorphic. Sepals 5, not spurred. Petals 5, pink to purplish or rarely white. Fertile stamens 10 [or rarely only 5 fertile]. Glands alternating with the petals.

Mericarps separating so that the seed is exposed; awn curved or coiled towards apex, glabrous inside.


Herbarium
Sheet

Distribution and occurrence: World: 250–300 species, chiefly temperate regions but extending into tropical mountains. Australia: c. 16 species (9 species endemic, 4 species naturalized), all States.

Text by G. J. Harden
Taxon concept:

 Key to the species 
1Flowers mostly in pairs2
Flowers solitary10
2Mericarps glabrous (sometimes hirsute in G. robertianum) and wrinkled3
Mericarps hirsute to pilose, smooth
                       Back to 1
5
3Petals 4–5 mm long; basal leaves more or less palmatifid with primary lobes divided to about halfwayGeranium molle
Petals 6–12 mm long; basal leaves more or less pinnatisect to ternate or palmatifid, with primary lobes divided more or less to the midrib
                       Back to 2
4
4Flowers small, petals 6–9 mm long; foliage not unpleasantly aromaticGeranium purpureum
Flowers large, petals 9–12 mm long; foliage strongly and unpleasantly aromatic
                       Back to 3
Geranium robertianum
5Awn of the mericarps with conspicuous glandular hairs; seeds pale brownGeranium dissectum
Awn of the mericarps with mostly non-glandular hairs and sometimes some minute glandular ones; seeds black to dark brown
                       Back to 2
6
6Pedicels with hairs retrorse-appressed in the flowering stage; seeds dark brown or black with pits more or less elongated or equal-sided7
Pedicels with hairs retrorse-reflexed or spreading, never appressed, stiff; seeds black or dark brown with large more or less equal-sided pits
                       Back to 5
8
7Leaves with lobes broad; taproot branched, not turnip-like; seeds dark brown with more or less elongated pitsGeranium homeanum
Leaves with usually linear lobes; taproot turnip-like; seeds black or very dark brown with equal-sided pits
                       Back to 6
Geranium retrorsum
8Stems, petioles and leaves with long, patent hairs, not rough to touch; taproot spherical to turnip-shapedGeranium solanderi
Stems, petioles and leaves with short to long, coarse, recurved hairs, rough to touch; taproot thickened, tapering or turnip-shaped
                       Back to 6
9
9Sepal mucro >0.5 mm long; roots thickened, branched or tapering, but not napiform; mericarps without ciliate suture marginsGeranium gardneri
9Sepal mucro <0.5 mm long; roots napiform to ellipsoid, but not branched; mericarps with long-ciliate suture marginsGeranium sp. Pale pink flowers (M.Gray 5847)
10Flowering stems usually shorter than the basal leaves or reduced to a single peduncle and pedicel; seeds black, smooth or with minute pits11
Flowering stems usually longer than the basal leaves; seeds dark brown or black, pits distinct
                       Back to 1
12
11Pedicels with hairs retrorse-appressed; petals oblong to narrow-elliptic, 4–8 mm long, 1–3 mm wideGeranium brevicaule
Pedicels with hairs antrorse-appressed; petals obovate, 6–12 mm long, 3–5 mm wide
                       Back to 10
Geranium antrorsum
12Taproot swollen and more or less turnip-shaped; sepals obtuse or acute to acuminate, 2–5 mm wide13
Taproot not (or sometimes in G. sp. Pale pink flowers) turnip-shaped; sepals distinctly mucronate, 1–2.5 mm wide
                       Back to 10
14
13Sepals obtuse; seeds dark brown with small obscure pits; plants softly hairy; restricted species, higher altitudes from the A.C.T. to the Kosciusko areaGeranium obtusisepalum
Sepals acute to acuminate; seeds black, with coarse pits; plants hirsute; widespread species
                       Back to 12
Geranium solanderi
14Petals 13–15 mm long; peduncle and pedicel together c. 8 cm longGeranium neglectum
Petals 3.5–6 mm long; peduncle and pedicel together less than 5 cm long
                       Back to 12
15
15Petals completely white; seeds black with large pitsGeranium graniticola
Petals almost always pink or tinged with pink, or if completely white then the seeds dark brown with small pits
                       Back to 14
16
16Stems, petioles and leaves with short to long, coarse, recurved hairs, often rough to touch17
Stems, petioles and leaves with short, soft spreading to recurved or appressed hairs, not rough to touch
                       Back to 15
Geranium potentilloides
17Sepal mucro >0.5 mm long; roots thickened, branched or tapering, but not napiform; mericarps without ciliate suture marginsGeranium gardneri
Sepal mucro <0.5 mm long; roots napiform to ellipsoid, but not branched; mericarps with long-ciliate suture margins
                       Back to 16
Geranium sp. Pale pink flowers (M.Gray 5847)

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