When does this bloom?
Where does this bloom?
84-86, 170-172, 211.6, 375
Geranium maculatum, the Spotted Geranium, Wood Geranium, or Wild Geranium is a woodland perennial plant native to eastern North America, from southern Manitoba and southwestern Quebec south to Alabama and west to Oklahoma and South Dakota. It grows in dry to moist woods and is normally abundant when found.
It is a perennial herbaceous plant growing to 60 cm tall, producing upright usually unbranched stems and flowers in spring to early summer. The leaves are palmately lobed with five or seven deeply cut lobes, 10–12.5 cm broad, with a petiole up to 30 cm long arising from the rootstock. They are deeply parted into three or five divisions, each of which is again cleft and toothed. The flowers are 2.5–4 cm diameter, with five rose-purple, pale or violet-purple (rarely white) petals and ten stamens; they appear from April to June in loose clusters of two to five at the top of the stems.
The fruit capsule, which springs open when ripe, consists of five cells each containing one seed joined to a long beak-like column 2-3 cm long (resembling a crane’s bill) produced from the center of the old flower. The rhizome is long, and 5 to 10 cm thick, with numerous branches. The rhizomes are covered with scars, showing the remains of stems of previous years growth. When dry it has a somewhat purplish color internally. Plants go dormant in early summer after seed is ripe and dispersed.
The whole plant, but especially the root, is antiseptic, highly astringent, diuretic, styptic and tonic. An infusion of the whole plant, or of the roots alone, is used in the treatment of diarrhoea (especially in children and the elderly), dysentery, irritable bowel syndrome, cholera, kidney complaints, bleeding and a wide range of other ailments. It is often used in combination with other herbs.
Externally, it is applied to purulent wounds, haemorrhoids, thrush, and inflammations of the mouth. The plants are rich in tannin, the root containing 10 – 20%. The roots can be harvested in the autumn then dried and stored. It is best to harvest the roots as the plant comes into flower since it is then at its most active medicinally. The leaves are harvested as the plant comes into flower and are dried for later use.