Geranium maculatum (Wild Geranium)
Geranium flowers

Zone: 4 to 8

Soil: Sand to loam

Light: part sun to shade

Bloom colour: Pink to purple

Bloom period: Late spring

Height: 12 - 24 inches

Moisture: moist in spring

Attracts: Bees, butterflies

Notes: Wild geranium is native to Eastern half of Canada and the United States. It can be found in woodlands and along the woodland edge. It flowers for a few weeks in late spring when many other plants have yet to emerge. This plant is good for the front of a shady border where it should be planted en masse to show off its beautiful flowers and to attract pollinators.

This plant can be grown in full sun, but the soil needs to be loamy and moist to keep the leaves in good condition. This plant does well in a variety of soils in shady conditions. As long as it receives plenty of moisture during the spring, the vegetation will continue to look good throughout the summer even if the conditions are drier later on. It spreads slowly by reseeding and does not become invasive.

The flowers are large for a plant of this size and attract bees which may use sonication to release pollen. The flowers tend to mature over a few days with anthers developing before stigmas to encourage cross-pollination. The wild geraniums sold in regular nurseries are usually not native so make sure you are getting the native species and not a flower from Europe.


Geranium maculatum
Leaves of Geranium maculatum
The leaves of wild Geranium are palmate with 5 lobes.
Geranium maculatum flower
Even though the anthers are mature, the stigma has yet to fully develop in this flower.
Geranium plants growing in situ
Geranium maculatum
Geranium with Valgus hemipterus
Beetles do pollinate flowers, but they can be destructive as well. Here a scarab beetle, Valgus hemipterus, is eating the succulent anthers off the stamens of Geranium maculatum.