Jepson Flora Project: Jepson Interchange    

 
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  • Up-to-date information about California vascular plants is available from the Jepson eFlora.

GERANIACEAE

GERANIUM FAMILY

Annual, perennial herb, or ± woody, generally hairy
Leaves simple to compound, basal and cauline; cauline alternate or opposite, stipules present
Inflorescence: cyme or umbel
Flower bisexual, radial or ± bilateral; sepals 5, free, overlapping in bud; petals 5, free, with nectar glands at base; stamens generally 5 or 10; staminodes scale-like or 0; pistil 5-lobed, chambers 5, placentas axile, styles 5, fused to axis, columnar in fruit, stigmas atop axis 5, free
Fruit: segments 5, dry, 1–2-seeded, separating from each other and then from column; fruit body dehiscent on 1 side or not; part of style persistent atop ovary and separating with it, curved to tightly coiled when dry
Genera in family: 14 genera, ± 750 species: temp, ± tropical. Some cultivated for ornamental, perfume oils
Reference: [Robertson 1972 J Arnold Arbor 53:182–201]
Family description, key to genera by M.S. Taylor.

GERANIUM

CRANESBILL, GERANIUM

Mary Susan Taylor

Annual, perennial herb
Leaves palmately lobed or divided; upper alternate or opposite; blade generally round in outline, base generally cordate, ± hairy
Inflorescence: cyme; flowers (1)2
Flower: sepals awned or not; stamens 10, outer 5 opposite petals, inner 5 alternate petals
Fruit: body dehiscent, generally ovoid, 1–2-seeded, base rounded; style column narrowed at top below free stigmas, forming a beak in fruit; part of style persistent to fruit body glabrous to puberulent on side facing column
Species in genus: 250–300 species: temp, tropical mtns
Etymology: (Greek: crane, from beak-like fruit)
Reference: [Jones & Jones 1943 Rhodora 45:5–26;32–53]
Some ornamental, cultivated for oils. Native per (especially G. californicum, G. richardsonii ) vary regionally, are often difficult to separate, need further study.

Native

G. carolinianum L.

Annual
Stem generally erect, 1–7 dm; hairs dense, short, pointed downward
Leaves: lower 10–15 cm; blades 2–6 cm wide, divided into ± 5 oblong to wedge-shaped segments, upper half of segments ± lobed
Inflorescence: flowers clustered atop stem; pedicel 2–7 mm
Flower: sepals 4–7 mm, short-awned; petals ± = sepals, ± notched, white to rose-pink
Fruit: body 2–3 mm, puberulent and minutely bristly; style column 10–15 mm, beak 2–3 mm
Seed faintly pitted
Chromosomes: 2n=52
Ecology: Open to shaded sites, grassland, scrub, forest
Elevation: < 1700 m.
Bioregional distribution: California Floristic Province, Modoc Plateau
Distribution outside California: to eastern N.America

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