How to Identify Wild Geraniums

Updated February 21, 2017

The wild geranium (Geranium maculatum L.) is a common flowering perennial plant that is native to the United States. Also known as spotted geranium and cranesbill, it grows in 35 states, including all those of the eastern half of the country with the exception of Florida. Wild geranium is a showy plant, with large flowers and easily identifiable leaves. This makes differentiating it from other wild flowers a simple process.

Look for a plant with pink or lavender five-petal flowers 1.5 inches in width.

Hold the measuring tape against the plant and measure the height. Wild geraniums stand between 1 and 3 feet tall.

Look at the leaves and count the lobes. Wild geraniums have five-lobe leaves that are pointy and resemble palm leaves. Measure the leaves. They are usually between 2 and 5 inches long.

Pull your finger across the leaf surface. Wild geranium leaves have fine white hairs that you should feel with your fingers.

Examine the flower stem, just below the blossom. You should see thick hairs and three-lobe leaves just below the flower. If the plant meets all these criteria, it is a wild geranium.

Things You'll Need

  • Measuring tape
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About the Author

Based in Richmond, Va., Dawn Gibbs writes about topics such as history, fashion, literature, crafts, alternative medicine and healthy living. Her work has appeared on and several style websites. Gibbs holds a Bachelor of Arts in history from Virginia Commonwealth University.