Wild geranium is one of the first wild flowers that I learned once we moved to our place on the “mountain top”, which is a ridge top in the Ridge and Valley Province of the Appalachians in Pennsylvania. The large pastel-colored blossoms are a pleasant addition to the woodlands that are now green everywhere.
Wild Geranium, Geranium maculatum, also called Spotted Geranium, is a perennial that grows in open woods where sunlight reaches the forest floor. We find it along the lane, next to the farmer’s road, and at the edge of the field where the field meets the trees.
Large enough not to be missed by the casual woods walker, wild geranium flowers and leaves are prominent. The foliage is easy to spot so you can find it even when the flowers aren’t in bloom. The palmate leaves of wild geranium are deeply cut and have rounded teeth or lobes.
In the image above note the rounded petals of the lilac-colored flowers. Five-petal flowers of lilac, pink or light purple occur in clusters at the stem tips.
Note that the drooping flower buds have not yet opened. When the wild geranium flowers are spent, the petals dry up, turn a deeper blue color and fall away.
New lilac and old blue flowers of wild geranium. Photo above taken 17 May 2010. From these observations it appears that Geranium maculatum has at least a two-week blooming period.