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Geranium molle

Higher Taxonomy
Family: GeraniaceaeView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Habit: Annual, perennial herb, or +- woody, generally glandular-hairy. Leaf: simple to compound, basal and cauline; cauline alternate or opposite, stipules 2, +- on stem. Inflorescence: cyme or pseudo-umbel or 1--2-flowered. Flower: bisexual [unisexual], radial or +- bilateral; sepals 5, free, overlapping in bud; petals generally 5, free, generally with nectar glands at base; stamens generally 5,10[15]; staminodes scale-like or 0; ovary generally 5-lobed, upper part elongating into beak in fruit, chambers 5, placentas axile, style 1, stigmas 5, free, persistent in fruit. Fruit: septicidal [loculicidal], mericarps 5, dry, generally 1-seeded, each persistent on 1 of 5 linear segments of beak that separate from central column by curving or coiling upward.
Genera In Family: 6 genera, +- 750 species: temperate, +- tropics. Some cultivated for ornamental, perfume oils.
eFlora Treatment Author: Carlos Aedo, except as noted
Scientific Editor: Thomas J. Rosatti.
Genus: GeraniumView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Habit: Annual, perennial herb, often +- glandular, especially above. Stem: generally 1--4 mm wide in lower 1/2. Leaf: palmately lobed to 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.
Species In Genus: +- 400 species: temperate, tropical mountains. Etymology: (Greek: crane, from fruit beak)

Geranium molle L.
Habit: Annual. Stem: decumbent to erect, 1--4.5 dm; hairs +- sparse, soft. Leaf: blade 0.9--5.2 cm wide, divided 0.5--0.75 to base, segments 7--9, obtriangular. Flower: pedicel 5--15 mm; sepals 1--6 mm, smooth, mucronate; petals 3--10.5 mm, notched, red-purple. Fruit: mericarp 1.8--2.1 mm, transversely wrinkled, glabrous, basal callus 0; beak 6--11 mm, narrow tip 1--3 mm; stigmas 1--2 mm. Seed: smooth. Chromosomes: 2n=26.
Ecology: Open to shaded sites, disturbed ground; Elevation: < 500 m. Bioregional Distribution: CA-FP; Distribution Outside California: widespread North America; native to Europe, northern Africa, western Asia; alien in South America, southern Africa, Australia, New Zealand. Flowering Time: Feb--Aug
eFlora Treatment Author: Carlos Aedo
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Previous taxon: Geranium lucidum
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botanical illustration including Geranium molle


Citation for this treatment: Carlos Aedo 2017. Geranium molle, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on September 22, 2017.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2017. Jepson eFlora,, accessed on September 22, 2017.

Geranium molle
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© 2008 Steve Matson
Geranium molle
click for enlargement
© 2008 Steve Matson
Geranium molle
click for enlargement
© 2008 Steve Matson
Geranium molle
click for enlargement
© 2008 Steve Matson
Geranium molle
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© 2009 Barry Breckling
Geranium molle
click for enlargement
© 2011 Neal Kramer

More photos of Geranium molle in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Geranium molle:
Markers link to CCH specimen records. Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues. Purple markers indicate specimens collected from a garden, greenhouse, or other non-wild location.
map of distribution 1
(Note: any qualifiers in the taxon distribution description, such as 'northern', 'southern', 'adjacent' etc., are not reflected in the map above, and in some cases indication of a taxon in a subdivision is based on a single collection or author-verified occurence).

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Data provided by the participants of the Consortium of California Herbaria.
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CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time.