Geraniaceae . . . . . Crane's-bill family

Choose between Crane's-bills and Stork's-bills:


See also: Rosaceae; Caryophyllaceae; Frankenia;

Aethiopicum & Erodium . . . . Storksbills

Choose from the following four Stork's-bills:

Erodium circuitarum
Erodium moschatum
Aethiopicum lebelii
Erodium maritimum
Common Storksbill
Musk Storksbill
Sticky Storksbill
Sea Storksbill

N.B. E. circuitarum generally has more divided leaves (2-pinnate) than E. moschatum (1-pinnate musky-smelling leaves); also broader stipules and flowers (c.15 mm) with no blotches.



Aethiopicum . . . . Sticky Storksbill


Aethiopicum lebelii (was Erodium) . . . . Sticky Storksbill

Local; Similar to E. circuitarum but sepals and flower stalks with dense patent glandular hairs; flowers fewer (2-4) and generally smaller (<10mm)

Erodium . . . . Storksbills


Erodium circuitarum . . . . . Common Storksbill

Note that leaves usually doubly-pinnate (c.f. E. moschatum)

Erodium moschatum . . . . . Musk Storksbill

C and S Britain; petals more strap-shaped, crumpled; relatively uncommon c.f. Erodium circuitarum

Erodium maritimum . . . . . Sea Storksbill

Uncommon coastal plant mainly from the S, especially CI

5 or 6 other wool-alien spp. may be encountered

Geranium . . . . Crane's-bills

Select by flowers or by leaf shape: Flowers or Leaves


Choose from the following 17 Crane's-bills:

G. pratense
G. sylvaticum
G. sanguineum
G. phaeum
Meadow Cranesbill
Wood Cranesbill
Bloody Cranesbill
Dusky Cranesbill

G. robertianum
G. purpureum
G. rotundifolium
G. herrerae
Herb Robert
Little Robin
Round-leaved Geranium
Alderney Geranium

G. molle
G. pusillum
G. dissectum
G. pyrenaicum
Dovesfoot Crane's-bill
Small-flowered Crane's-bill
Cut-leaved Geranium
Hedgerow Crane's-bill

Other spp. widely grown in gardens and escaping:
G. lucidum
G. versicolor
G. endressii
G. psilostemon
Shiny Crane's-bill
Pencilled Crane's-bill
French Geranium
Armenian Crane's-bill

G. macrorrhizumum
G. maderense
Rock Crane's-bill
Giant Herb Robert

Somewhat similar is the rather rare Sea Heath or Frankenia:

Choose appropriate leaf shape:



Geranium . . . . Crane's-bills

Geranium dissectum . . . Cut-leaved Geranium

Waste places and cultivated ground in much of BI

Geranium endressii . . . French Crane's-bill

A garden escape -

Geranium herrerae (G. submolle) . . . Alderney Geranium

An introduced casual in CI

Geranium lucidum . . . Shining Crane's-bill

Locally common

Geranium macrorrhizum . . . Rock Crane's-bill

Widely grown in gardens - sometimes in garden throw-outs

Geranium maderense . . . Giant Herb Robert

Grown in gardens - sometimes escapes esp. in SW En, Scilly

Geranium molle . . . Soft Crane's-bill

Common; pedicels with both long and many short hairs, all stamens with anthers, petals >4 mm (c.f. G. pusillum)

Geranium phaeum . . . Dusky Crane's-bill

Naturalised in much of BI

Geranium psilostemon . . . Armenian Crane's-bill

Widely planted in gardens - occurs in garden throw-outs

Geranium pratense . . . Meadow Crane's-bill

Note the more divided leaves and bluer flowers than G. sylvaticum; meadows in much of Br

Geranium purpureum . . . Little Robin

Smaller than G. robertianum; yellow anthers; local, esp. near the sea in CI and SW Britain

Geranium pusillum . . . Small-flowered Geranium

Cultivated and waste ground over much of BI; petals <4mm and outer 5 stamens without anthers; short hairs on pedicels

Geranium pyrenaicum . . . Hedgerow Crane's-bill

Hedgerows and grassy places exc. N & W

G. x oxonianum (Druce's Crane's-bill; a cross with G. versicolor) is v. similar

Geranium robertianum . . . Herb Robert

Common and widespread in shady places; small plants can be confused with Little Robin

Geranium rotundifolium . . . Round-leaved Crane's-bill

On banks and walls; Local in S Br and Ire and in CI

Geranium sanguineum . . . Bloody Crane's-bill

Localised on dry calcareous soils, especially in the Burren and N & W Br; elsewhere largely a garden escape

Geranium sylvaticum . . . Wood Crane's-bill

Woods and hedges mainly in N Br

Geranium versicolor . . . Pencilled Crane's-bill

Naturalised in CI and C & S Br

A number of other spp. are cultivated and can naturalise