The family Geraniaceae consists primarily of temperate annual and perennial herbs. These plants are known mostly for ornamental geraniums which belong to the genus Pelargonium. Members of the Geraniaceae are usually herbs, sometimes subshrubs and often have stems that are jointed and leaves that are frequently covered with glandular hairs. The leaves vary quite a bit, from simple to compound, alternate to opposite. The flowers are bisexual and radially symmetric to somewhat bilaterally symmetric. There are usually 5 separate sepals and petals. One or more of the petals may have a nectar spur. There are 1-3 whorls of stamens and/or staminodes which are usually fused at the base of the filaments. The ovary is superior and usually of 5 united carpels fused around a central axis. Although the styles are fused to the carpophore, the stigmas are free. At maturity, the styles elongate and the carpels bend up and away from the base of the carpophore, flinging the seeds out in the process. The elongate, persistent styles are very characteristic for the family.
Guide to Identify Presented Species of the Geranium Family
PETALS OVER 8 MM LONG. PERENNIALS.
Geranium viscosissimum Sticky Purple Geranium Stems 40-90 cm tall, with sticky glandular hairs. Drier grasslands and forests.
Flowers pink-purple, 30-40 mm wide. Several in open, branching clusters.
Leaves mainly basal and deeply palmately cut into 5-7 cut and toothed sections.
PETALS UP TO 8 MM LONG. ANNUALS OR BIENNIALS.
Erodium cicutarium Stork's Bill Geranium Annual, 3-30 cm tall, stems usually reddish. Drier plains and hillsides.
Flowers pink, 10-15 mm broad, in small umbel-clusters on long stalks.
Leaves mostly basal, repeatedly pinnately divided into narrow segments.
Alphabetical listing with links to presented species of the Geranium family: