Geranium maculatum - Wild Geranium
Showy, pink, five-petaled flowers, occur at the top of leafy, 1-3 ft. stem. Lavender flowers are in loose clusters of 2-5 at the ends of branches above a pair of deeply 5-lobed leaves. In addition to its flowers, this perennial is well known for its 5- to 6-parted, deeply cut leaves. It colonizes by thick rhizomes but is not aggressive. Geraniums are recognized by their palmately-lobed leaves and distinctive capsules. Bicknells Cranesbill (G. bicknellii) has much smaller flowers, notched petals, and more finely cut leaves. It too is found in the Northeast and Midwest. A more southerly species, the closely related Carolina Geranium (G. carolinianum), occurs from Florida to New England and westward to Kansas and Wyoming. It has a more compact flower cluster. The common name cranesbill, as well as the genus name, from the Greek geranos (a crane), relate to the bill-like capsule. A number of species are naturalized from Europe.