Carolina Geranium: Geranium carolinianum
|Weed Description: Most often a
biennial, forming a basal rosette initially with subsequent stem elongation and branching
as the plant matures. May also occur as a winter or summer annual. Found
throughout the United States.
Roots: Fibrous with shallow taproot.
freely branching near base to 28 inches tall. Stems are usually pink to red in color
and densely hairy.
Leaves: Alternate near base, opposite above, and hairy on both surfaces. Leaves (3/4 to 2 1/2 inches wide) are rounded in appearance, and deeply (palmately) divided into 5-9 segments, with each segment also lobed or toothed.
|Fruit: Less than 3 mm long with
an elongated beak that gives this structure the appearance of a crane's bill, which is
also another common name of this weed.
Seedling: Cotyledons are hairy, broad (6 mm wide), kidney-shaped, green above and pink below. Young leaves are hairy on both surfaces, alternate, and have leaf veins arising from a common point (palmately veined). Petioles of young plants are pink and covered with hairs that point downward. Margins of leaves are deeply lobed.
|Flowers: Two or more in clusters at
tips of stems and branches. Petals are whitish-pink to pale purple in color, 4-6 mm
Identifying Characteristics: Divided leaves and distinctive 'crane's bill' fruit. Also, the whitish-pink to purple flower color of Carolina geranium helps to distinguish it from similar geranium species (dovefoot and smallflower geraniums).