meadow geranium

(Geranium pratense)

Conservation Status


No image available

  IUCN Red List

not listed


NNA - Not applicable


not listed


Meadow geranium is a 1 to 2 tall, erect, perennial forb that produces a single flowering stem from a horizontal rhizome.

The stems are green and up to 24 tall. The stems, basal leaf stalks, stem leaf stalks, and flower stalks all have coarse, white, non-glandular (not sticky) hairs.

A few basal leaves rise from the underground rhizome on long, up to 12, leaf stalks. They are palmately divided into 5 to 9 but usually 7 irregular, deep, wedge-shaped lobes. The lobes are not toothed, notched, or divided in the basal half, but are coarsely toothed and often have secondary lobes in the upper half. The upper surface of the leaves has fine white hairs.

There is only a single pair of leaves on the stem. They are opposite and similar in appearance and features to the basal leaves, but are smaller and usually have only 3 lobes. They are on short leaf stalks that are covered with sticky, glandular hairs.

The inflorescence is a small cluster at the end of a long stalk.

The flowers are 1 to 1½ wide with 5 petals and 5 green sepals.

The petals are bright blue-violet and rounded at the tips.

The fruit is a 1 to 1½ long, erect capsule in the shape of a crane’s bill, giving this plant another of its common names, Meadow Crane’s-bill.




1 to 2


Flower Color


Bright blue-violet


Similar Species


Bicknell’s cranesbill (Geranium bicknellii) has leafy stems and no basal leaves. The inflorescence is a 2-flowered cluster. The flowers are only to ½ wide. The flower petals are notched at the tip.

Carolina geranium (Geranium carolinianum) has leafy stems and no basal leaves. The leaves are divided into usually 5 to 9 deeply-cut lobes. The leaf margins have widely spaced, deeply-cut teeth, that may amount to secondary lobes. The inflorescence is a tight cluster of many flowers. The flowers are on short flower stalks that are less than half as long as the sepals. The flowers are dull white to light pink and only wide.

Robert’s geranium (Geranium robertianum) has leafy stems and no basal leaves. The leaves are divided into usually 3 to 5 leaflets that are cut all the way to the base, with at least the terminal leaflet on an evident leaflet stalk. The leaflets are fern-like. The inflorescence is a 2-flowered cluster from the upper leaf axils. It has been recorded only in St. Louis County.

Siberian cranesbill (Geranium sibiricum) has leafy stems and no basal leaves. The flowers occur singly or in pairs. It has been recorded only in Houston and Goodhue Counties.

Wild geranium (Geranium maculatum) does not have glandular, sticky hairs on the flowering stalks or leaf stalks. The leaves are not as finely cut. The petals are rose-purple, pale purple, violet-purple or, rarely, white, with darker fine lines radiating from the center of the flower. It is widespread in the eastern two-thirds of the state.


Meadows, grassy areas.




June to July




Distribution Map



2, 3, 4, 5.




Native to Asia, Europe, and the Indian subcontinent. Introduced, cultivated, rarely escaped cultivation, and naturalized in North America, especially in the northeast.





  Kingdom Plantae (green algae and land plants)  
  Subkingdom Viridiplantae (green plants)  
  Infrakingdom Streptophyta (land plants and green algae)  
  Superdivision Embryophyta (land plants)  
  Division Tracheophyta (vascular plants)  
  Subdivision Spermatophytina (seed plants)  
  Class Magnoliopsida (flowering plants)  
  Superorder Rosanae  


Geraniales (geraniums, bridal wreaths, and allies)  


Geraniaceae (geranium and cranesbill)  


  Subgenus Geranium  
  Section Geranium  

Subordinate Taxa






Geranium affine

Geranium pratense var. affine

Geranium transbaicalicum


Common Names


meadow crane’s-bill

meadow geranium









The upper angle where the leaf stalk meets the stem.


Glandular hairs

Hairs spread over aerial vegetation that secrete essential oils. The oils act to protect against herbivores and pathogens or, when on a flower part, attract pollinators. The hairs have a sticky or oily feel.



The small swelling of the stem from which one or more leaves, branches, or buds originate.


Palmately divided

Similar to a hand. Having more than three lobes that radiate from a single point at the base of the leaf.



An outer floral leaf, usually green but sometimes colored, at the base of a flower.

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  Meadow Cranesbill
Wez Smith
  Meadow Cranesbill  

Meadow Cranesbill (Geranium pratense).




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Other Videos
  Geranium pratense (Meadow Cranesbill)

Uploaded on Jul 25, 2011

Geranium pratense, the Meadow Cranesbill, is a species of plant in the Geraniaceae family. The leaves are deeply divided, divided into 7-9 lobes and 3-6 inch wide. It is native to much of Europe and Asia, but is cultivated and naturalized elsewhere.

Geranium wallichianum

This footage is part of the professionally-shot stock footage archive of Wilderness Films India Ltd., the largest collection of imagery from South Asia. The Wilderness Films India collection comprises of thousands of hours of high quality broadcast imagery, mostly shot on HDCAM 1080i High Definition, HDV and Digital Betacam. Write to us for licensing this footage on a broadcast format, for use in your production! We pride ourselves in bringing the best of India and South Asia to the world... wfi @ and

  Герань луговая (Geranium pratense)
Vjacheslav Stepanov

Published on Jun 5, 2013

Герань луговая (Geranium pratense), Журавельник луговой - широкораспространенное медоносное и лекарственное растение. На границе города, в тени дубового леса. Обнинск 4 июня 2013 года

  Meadow cranesbill (Geranium pratense) - 2014-06-15

Published on Jun 19, 2014

Geranium pratense, the meadow cranesbill, is a species of hardy flowering herbaceous perennial plant in the genus Geranium, Geraniaceae family.

De beemdooievaarsbek of weide-ooievaarsbek (Geranium pratense) is een vaste plant uit de ooievaarsbekfamilie (Geraniaceae).




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