AskDefine | Define geranium

Dictionary Definition

geranium n : any of numerous plants of the family Geraniaceae

User Contributed Dictionary

see Geranium




  1. Any flowering plant of the genus Geranium, the cranesbills, of family Geraniaceae.
  2. The common name for flowering plants of the genus Pelargonium.
  3. a bright red color tinted with orange, like that of a scarlet geranium.
    geranium colour:   




common name for Pelargoniums


  1. of a bright red color tinted with orange, like that of a scarlet geranium.


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Extensive Definition

Gardeners often use the name "geranium" to mean pelargonium: see below.
confuse germanium Geranium is a genus of 422 species of flowering annual, biennial, and perennial plants that are commonly known as the cranesbills. It is found throughout the temperate regions of the world and the mountains of the tropics, but mostly in the eastern part of the Mediterranean region. These attractive flowers will grow in any soil as long as it is not waterlogged. Propagation is by semi-ripe cuttings in summer, by seed or by division in autumn or spring.
The species Geranium viscosissimum is considered to be protocarnivorous.
The name "cranesbill" derives from the appearance of the seed-heads, which have the same shape as the bill of a crane. The genus name is derived from the Greek word geranos, meaning "crane". The long, palmately cleft leaves are broadly circular in form. Their rose, pink to blue or white flowers have 5 petals.
Cranesbills are eaten by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species including Brown-tail and Mouse Moth.


Confusingly, "geranium" is also the common name of members of the genus Pelargonium, which were formerly classified in the cranesbill genus. In the United States, true Geraniums are frequently distinguished from the less hardy Pelargoniums as (rather redundantly) "hardy geraniums" by gardeners and in the horticultural trade. One can make the distinction between the two by looking at the flowers : Geranium has symmetrical flowers, while Pelargonium has irregular or maculate petals. Other former members of the genus are now classified in genus Erodium, including the plants known as filarees in North America.



geranium in Bulgarian: Здравец
geranium in Danish: Storkenæb
geranium in German: Storchschnäbel
geranium in Spanish: Geranium
geranium in French: Géranium (genre)
geranium in Upper Sorbian: Pyskawa
geranium in Kazakh: Қазтамақ
geranium in Lithuanian: Snaputis
geranium in Dutch: Geranium (geslacht)
geranium in Japanese: フウロソウ属
geranium in Polish: Bodziszek
geranium in Portuguese: Geranium
geranium in Finnish: Kurjenpolvet
geranium in Swedish: Nävor
geranium in Turkish: Sardunya (bitki)
geranium in Vietnamese: Chi Mỏ hạc
geranium in Chinese: 老鸛草
geranium in Russian: Герань
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