Wild Geranium

Wild Geranium
Wild Geranium. Geranium maculatum.
Geraniaceae, the geranium family.

Plant: Erect, spring-blooming plant, 8"-18" high, with a loose cluster of delicate, pink flowers and a pair of deeply, palmately lobed leaves. Perennial.
Flowers: Pink, 1"-1.5", with five petals, five sepals, and ten stamens, in a loose cluster (a cyme) generally with 2-8 flowers. Buds are hairy.
Leaves: Usually a single pair of long-petioled leaves, deeply and palmately cut into 5-7 toothed lobes, on top of a stem that splits at one point into the leaves and a pair of flowering stalks.
Fruit: A long, beak-like capsule.
Blooming: April-early May
Habitat: Light woods, clearings, thickets and boundaries.

Comments: A very attractive early spring flower, large enough to be quite noticeable. Wild geraniums are also known as Cranesbill, a reference to the shape of the fruit. Cultivated geraniums are in the same family, but in a mostly tropical genus Pelargonium.

Where to find it: I have seen these in the woods near the picnic shelter. The blooming period is quite brief here, seemingly only a week or so.