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Key to families | Table of families and genera

Specimen numbers are hyperlinked to records in the Consortium of California Herbaria data view where possible. Taxa are hyperlinked to entries in the Jepson Interchange via the "[Online Interchange]" link.


Annual, perennial herb, often ± glandular, especially above. Stem: generally 1–4 mm wide in lower 1/2. Leaf: palmately lobed or divided, ± hairy; segments generally palmately lobed and/or toothed; upper alternate or opposite; blade generally round in outline, base generally cordate. Inflorescence: (1)2-flowered. Flower: radial (± bilateral); sepals ± awned to mucronate; stamens 10, outer 5 opposite petals (lacking anthers in G. pusillum), inner 5 alternate petals, nectary glands 5, alternate petals. Fruit: mericarp generally ovoid, dehiscent, 1-seeded; basal callus generally present, often with long bristles.
± 400 species: temperate, tropical mountains. (Greek: crane, from fruit beak) [Aedo 2001 Anales Jard Bot Madrid 59:3–65; Aedo et al. 1998 Ann Missouri Bot Gard 85:594–630]
Unabridged references: [Aedo 2000–2001 Anales Jard Bot Madrid 58:39–82, 59:3–65; Aedo et al. 1998 Ann Missouri Bot Gard 85:594–630]

Key to Geranium

1. Perennial herb, from thick, scaly, underground caudex

2. Inflorescence 1-flowered ..... G. potentilloides

2' Inflorescence 2-flowered

3. Mericarp without basal callus ..... [G. palmatum; G. pyrenaicum]

3a. Petals 19–21 mm; leaf divided > 0.9 to base or midrib ..... G. palmatum [evidently known only from ± urban environments in California]

3a' Petals 7–11 mm; leaf divided 0.5–0.6 to base ..... G. pyrenaicum [neither naturalized nor escaped in California; collected only once, in 1914, on UC Berkeley campus]

3' Mericarp with basal callus

4. Petals glabrous adaxially, ciliate at base

5. Petals 12–21 mm; fruit beak 27–44 mm ..... G. oreganum

5' Petals 3–8.1 mm; fruit beak 8.8–15.1 mm

6. Pedicel hairs reflexed, appressed, 0.2–0.6 mm ..... G. core-core

6' Pedicel hairs spreading or reflexed, not appressed, 0.2–2 mm ..... G. solanderi

4' Petals 1/3–3/4 hairy adaxially, ciliate at base or not

7. Nectaries woolly abaxially; petals white; stigmas 3–4 mm ..... G. richardsonii

7' Nectaries glabrous abaxially, hair-tufted at top; petals white to red-purple; stigmas 3–8 mm

8. Fruit narrow tip 5–6 mm, stigmas 6–8 mm; leaves 3–8 cm wide; petals 10–15 mm ..... G. californicum

8' Fruit narrow tip 3–4 mm, stigmas 3–6 mm; leaves 7.1–16 cm wide; petals 17–20 mm ..... G. viscosissimum

1' Annual, biennial, from short, ± slender roots

9. Fertile stamens 5 (outer 5 lacking anthers) ..... G. pusillum

9' Fertile stamens 10 (inner 5 and outer 5 all with anthers)

10. Sepals with transverse flaps between lengthwise keels ..... G. lucidum

10' Sepals without flaps or keels

11. Mericarp ribbed or ± net-like or transversely wrinkled

12. Mericarp without collar-like rings or fibers at tip, transversely wrinkled ..... G. molle

12' Mericarp with 1–5 collar-like rings and long fibers at tip, ribbed or ± net-like

13. Petals 5–9.5 mm; mericarp with 3–5 collar-like rings at tip; anthers ± yellow ..... G. purpureum

13' Petals 10–14 mm; mericarp with 1–3 collar-like rings at tip; anthers ± purple ..... G. robertianum

11' Mericarp smooth (although sometimes ± ribbed or hairy or bristly)

14. Mericarp base with prong, without callus ..... G. dissectum

14' Mericarp base without prong, generally with callus

15. Mericarp glabrous except base generally ciliate ..... G. aequale

15' Mericarp ± hairy throughout except basal callus bristly

16. Fruit beak with a narrow tip < 2 mm

17. Pedicel hairs spreading, glandular and nonglandular, sometimes also reflexed, not appressed, nonglandular; mericarp hairs dense, 0.5–1.8 mm ..... G. carolinianum

17' Pedicel hairs reflexed, appressed, nonglandular; mericarp hairs sparse, 0.2–0.7 mm ..... [G. texanum]

16' Fruit beak with a narrow tip 2–6 mm

18. Peduncles without glandular hairs ..... G. columbinum

18' Peduncles with glandular hairs

19. Leaf divided 0.85–0.95 to base ..... G. bicknellii

19' Leaf divided 0.55–0.65 to base ..... G. rotundifolium


Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) [year] Jepson eFlora, [accessed on month, day, year]
Citation for an individual treatment: [Author of taxon treatment] [year]. [Taxon name] in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, [URL for treatment]. Accessed on [month, day, year].
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