Taken May 17, 2010 – Bridgton, Maine
Canon Rebel XSi with 100mm Macro Lens
Wild Pink Geranium – In Bud Stage
The wild geranium, also known as the Wild or Spotted Crane’s Bill belongs to the family Geraniaceae (Crane’s Bill Family). The name Geranium is derived from the Greek word geranus, which means “crane”. These beautiful plants are found in eastern North America, ranging from Maine south to New England and Georgia, west to Tennessee, Missouri, and Kansas, and north to Manitoba. They’re not related to the garden varieties you can purchase at the nursery, which are in the genus Pelargonium. Wild geraniums grow in rich or moist woodlands, thickets, and meadows. Geraniums prefer well-drained soil in open woods where partial sun is possible but also colonize areas near roads where the soil is clayish and compacted.
Each Wild Geranium plant produces three to four flowers on a long stalk. Each flower is composed of five sharply pointed sepals, five overlapping petals, and ten stamens that are organized in two circles of five. These flowers range in color from light pink to magenta and are one to one and a half inches broad. The geranium plants are hairy and grow to a height of ten to twenty inches. The leaves are broadly heart-shaped and the blades are three to five inches wide. Wild Geraniums flower from late in April through June or July.
The Geranium is a completely non-poisonous plant. In fact, it was used by a number of indigenous tribes of North America to treat diarrhea and is still used today by many different cultures for that same purpose. It is also used to treat wounds containing pus, hemorrhoids, vaginal discharges, and inflammations of the mouth. The plant, mostly the root, contains tannins, which makes it useful for these medicinal purposes. Tea from the root of Wild Geraniums is the most common method of ingestion.