Jepson eFlora: Taxon page
Vascular Plants of California
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Geranium purpureum

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, 709 species: temperate, +- tropics. Some cultivated for ornament, 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: 307 species: temperate, tropical mountains. Etymology: (Greek: crane, from fruit beak)
Reference: [Aedo 2001 Anales Jard Bot Madrid 59:3--65; Aedo et al. 1998 Ann Missouri Bot Gard 85:594--630]
Unabridged Reference: [Aedo 2000--2001 Anales Jard Bot Madrid 58:39--82, 59:3--65; Aedo et al. 1998 Ann Missouri Bot Gard 85:594--630]
Geranium purpureum Vill.
Habit: Annual. Stem: decumbent to ascending, 1--3.5 dm; hairs soft. Leaf: blade 3--8.7 cm wide; divided > 0.9 to base, segments 5, +- sessile to short-stalked, pinnately lobed to dissected. Flower: pedicel 5--10 mm; sepals 4.5--7 mm, smooth, soft-hairy, awned; petals 5--9.5 mm, rounded, pink to red-purple; anthers +- yellow. Fruit: mericarp 2.3--3 mm, ribbed or +- net-like, with 3--5 collar-like rings and long fibers at tip, glabrous or hairy, basal callus 0; beak 13--16 mm, narrow tip 4--4.5 mm; stigmas +- 1 mm. Seed: smooth. Chromosomes: 2n=32.
Ecology: Open to shaded sites; Elevation: < 100 m. Bioregional Distribution: NCoRO, NCoRI, CCo, SnFrB; Distribution Outside California: native to Europe, northern Africa, western Asia; alien in South America, New Zealand, southern Africa. Flowering Time: Mar--May
Jepson eFlora Author: Carlos Aedo
Reference: [Aedo 2001 Anales Jard Bot Madrid 59:3--65; Aedo et al. 1998 Ann Missouri Bot Gard 85:594--630]
Index of California Plant Names (ICPN; linked via the Jepson Online Interchange)

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Citation for this treatment: Carlos Aedo 2012, Geranium purpureum, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on August 13, 2022.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2022, Jepson eFlora,, accessed on August 13, 2022.

Geranium purpureum
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© 2015 Barry Breckling
Geranium purpureum
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© 2009 Neal Kramer
Geranium purpureum
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© 2008 Neal Kramer
Geranium purpureum
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© 2019 Barry Breckling
Geranium purpureum
click for enlargement
© 2013 Neal Kramer
Geranium purpureum
click for enlargement
© 2013 Neal Kramer

More photos of Geranium purpureum in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Geranium purpureum:
1. You can change the display of the base map layer control box in the upper right-hand corner.
2. County and Jepson Region polygons can be turned off and on using the check boxes.
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).


Data provided by the participants of the  Consortium of California Herbaria.
View all CCH records
All markers link to CCH specimen records. The original determination is shown in the popup window.
Blue markers indicate specimens that map to one of the expected Jepson geographic subdivisions (see left map). Purple markers indicate specimens collected from a garden, greenhouse, or other non-wild location.
Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues.

CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa, if there are more than 1 infraspecific taxon in CA.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time (fruiting time in some monocot genera).