Virginia Tech Weed Identification Guide

Carolina Geranium: Geranium carolinianum

cgeranium12-20b.jpg (75579 bytes) 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.

Stems:  Erect, 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 long.

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).

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