Geranium aequale (Bab.) Aedo

smooth Dove's-foot crane's-bill

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New England Distribution

Adapted from BONAP data

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North America Distribution

Adapted from BONAP data

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Facts About

Smooth Dove's-foot crane's-bill is a European native, introduced in North America and occasionally found in New England, in Massachusetts and Vermont.

Habitat

Anthropogenic (man-made or disturbed habitats), meadows and fields

Characteristics

Habitat
terrestrial
Flower petal color
blue to purple
Leaf type
the leaves are simple (i.e., lobed or unlobed but not separated into leaflets)
Leaf arrangement
opposite: there are two leaves per node along the stem
Leaf blade edges
the edge of the leaf blade has lobes, or it has both teeth and lobes
Flower symmetry
there are two or more ways to evenly divide the flower (the flower is radially symmetrical)
Number of sepals, petals or tepals
there are five petals, sepals, or tepals in the flower
Fusion of sepals and petals
both the petals and sepals are separate and not fused
Stamen number
10
Fruit type (general)
the fruit is dry but does not split open when ripe
Fruit length
9–12 mm
Show All Characteristics
  • Clonal plantlets
    Bulbils
    the plant does not appear to have bulbils
    Bulblets replace flowers
    there are no bulblets where the flowers are located
  • Flowers
    Anther color
    there is a noticeable pink, reddish or purplish tint to the anthers
    Anther length
    0.4–0.6 mm
    Anther opening
    the anthers have narrow slits or furrows that run lengthwise along the anthers
    Anther spurs
    the anthers do not have spurs on them
    Calyx growth after flowering
    the calyx does not grow to cover or partially cover the fruit
    Calyx symmetry
    there are two or more ways to evenly divide the calyx (the calyx is radially symmetrical)
    Carpel hairs
    the carpels have no hairs
    Carpels fused
    the carpels are fused to one another
    Cleistogamous flowers
    there are no cleistogamous flowers on the plan
    Corolla morphology
    NA
    Corolla palate
    no
    Corona lobe length
    0 mm
    Epicalyx
    the flower does not have an epicalyx
    Epicalyx number of parts
    0
    Filament length
    3–4.5 mm
    Filament surface
    the filament is smooth, with no hairs or scales
    Flower description
    the flower has a superior ovary, and lacks a hypanthium
    Flower diameter
    2–3 mm
    Flower length
    3.5–4.5 mm
    Flower number
    1–2
    Flower petal color
    blue to purple
    Flower reproductive parts
    the flower has both pollen- and seed-producing parts
    Flower symmetry
    there are two or more ways to evenly divide the flower (the flower is radially symmetrical)
    Flowers sunken into stem
    no
    Form of style
    • the style is knob-like at the tip, and unbranched
    • the style is narrow at the tip and unbranched
    Fringed petal edges
    the petals are not fringed
    Fused stamen clusters
    NA
    Fusion of sepals and petals
    both the petals and sepals are separate and not fused
    Hairs on flower stalk
    the flower stalk has hairs on it
    Hairs on inflorescence
    at least some of the hairs on the axis of the inflorescence have glands
    Horns in hoods (Asclepias)
    NA
    Hypanthium
    the flower does not have a hypanthium
    Inflorescence one-sided
    the flowers are arrayed in a spiral around the inflorescence axis or branches, or occur singly, or in several ranks
    Inner tepals (Rumex)
    NA
    Length of flower stalk
    10–22 mm
    Length of peduncle
    10–70 mm
    Nectar spur
    the flower has no nectar spurs
    Number of carpels
    5
    Number of pistils
    1
    Number of sepals, petals or tepals
    there are five petals, sepals, or tepals in the flower
    Number of styles
    1–5
    Ovary position
    the ovary is above the point of petal and/or sepal attachment
    Petal and sepal arrangement
    the flower includes two cycles of petal- or sepal-like structures
    Petal and sepal colors
    blue to purple
    Petal appearance
    the petals are thin and delicate, and pigmented (colored other than green or brown)
    Petal base
    the petal narrows abruptly at the base
    Petal folds or pleats
    the petals of the flower do not have folds or plaits
    Petal hairs (Viola)
    NA
    Petal hairs on inner/upper surface
    there are no hairs on the inner/upper petal surface
    Petal length
    3.5–4.5 mm
    Petal length relative to sepals
    the petals are about equal in length to the sepals
    Petal nectaries
    the petals have at least one nectary
    Petal number
    5
    Petal tip shape
    the petal tip is retuse (with a blunt or rounded apex and a notch at the center)
    Petal tips (Cuscuta)
    NA
    Petal width
    2–3 mm
    Reproductive system
    all the flowers have both carpels and stamens (synoecious)
    Scales inside corolla
    no
    Sepal and petal color
    the sepals are different from the petals
    Sepal appearance
    the sepals are green or brown, and leaf-like in texture
    Sepal appendages
    the sepals do not have appendages on them
    Sepal appendages (Oenothera)
    NA
    Sepal cilia
    the sepals do not have cilia
    Sepal color
    • green to brown
    • white
    Sepal number
    5
    Sepal texture
    • the sepals are either very thin but flexible, like a membrane, or they are leaf-like in texture
    • the sepals are thin and dry, paperlike
    Sepal tip shape
    • the sepal tip is acute (is sharply pointed)
    • the sepal tip is obtuse (is bluntly pointed)
    Sepal uniformity
    all the sepals are about the same size
    Stamen appendages
    stamen appendages are absent
    Stamen attachment
    the stamens are not attached to the petals or tepals
    Stamen lengths differ
    the stamens are all approximately the same length
    Stamen morphology
    the stamens within each cycle are the same
    Stamen number
    10
    Stamen position relative to petals
    the stamens are lined up with the sepals
    Stamen relative length
    anything
    Stamens fused
    the stamens are not attached to one another
    Staminodes
    there are no staminodes on the flower
    Stigma length
    1–2 mm
    Stigma position
    the stigmas are positioned at the tip of the style
    Style petal-like
    the styles are not petal-like
    Style relative length
    the stigma does not protrude beyond the mouth of the corolla
    Surface of ovary
    the ovary surface has no points, bumps or wrinkles
    Umbel flower reproductive parts
    NA
    Upper lip of bilabiate corolla
    NA
  • Fruits or seeds
    Achene relative orientation
    NA
    Achene shape
    NA
    Achene surface (Polygonum)
    NA
    Achene type
    NA
    Berry color
    NA
    Capsule color (Viola)
    NA
    Capsule ribs
    NA
    Capsule splitting
    NA
    Carpel beak length
    7–10.5 mm
    Fruit (pyxis) dehiscence
    NA
    Fruit beak length
    1–1.5 mm
    Fruit features (Brassicaceae)
    NA
    Fruit length
    9–12 mm
    Fruit length relative to sepals
    the fruit is longer than its associated sepals
    Fruit locules
    five
    Fruit shape
    the fruit is another shape than those described
    Fruit type (general)
    the fruit is dry but does not split open when ripe
    Fruit type (specific)
    the fruit is a schizocarp (when dry it splits into sections, each holding one or more seeds)
    Hair type on fruit
    NA
    Hairs on fruit
    the fruits are not hairy
    Legumes (Fabaceae)
    NA
    Mericarp length
    1.4–1.5 mm
    Mericarp segment shape (Desmodium)
    NA
    Other markings on berry
    NA
    Ovary stipe
    the ovary or fruit does not have a stipe
    Ovary stipe length
    0 mm
    Placenta arrangement
    the plant has axile placentation, in which the ovules are attached where the septa of a compound ovary are united, usually on the central axis, or to the septa themselves
    Rows of seeds in fruit (Brassicaceae)
    NA
    Schizocarpic fruit compression
    the fruit is not flattened
    Schizocarpic fruit segments
    5
    Seed length
    1.6–1.7 mm
    Seed number
    Up to 1
    Seed relative length
    the seed is longer than it is wide
    Seed surface
    the seed is smooth or without clear markings
    Septum in fruit (Brassicaceae)
    NA
    Wings on fruit
    the fruit does not have wings on it
    prickles on fruits
    the fruits do not have thorn-like defensive structures
  • Glands or sap
    Glands on leaf blade
    the leaf blades do not have glandular dots or scales
    Sap
    the sap is clear and watery
    Sap color
    the sap is clear
  • Growth form
    Growth form
    the plant is an herb (it has self-supporting stems)
    Lifespan
    the plant lives only a single year or less
    Parasitism
    the plant is not parasitic
    Plant color
    the leaves or young stems of the plant are green
    Plants darken when dry
    no
    Spines on plant
    the plant has no spines
    Underground organs
    there is a thickened taproot on the plant
  • Leaves
    Bracteole edges
    • the braceole margins are palmately lobed or divided
    • the bracteole margins are entire (without teeth, lobes or hairs)
    Bracteole length
    1.5–3 mm
    Bracteole number (Apiaceae)
    0
    Bracteole shape
    the bracteoles are lanceolate (widest below the middle, and tapering at both ends)
    Bracteoles
    the plant has bracteoles between the primary bracts and the flowers
    Bracts in plantain (Plantago)
    NA
    Final leaf segment length to width ratio (compound lvs only)
    0
    Final leaf segment width (compound lvs only)
    2–4 mm
    Hairs on leaf stalk
    the petiole has hairs on it
    Hairs on underside of leaf
    the underside of the leaf is fuzzy or hairy
    Hairs on upper side of leaf
    the upper side of the leaf is fuzzy or hairy
    Hooked hairs on underside of leaf
    no
    Leaf arrangement
    opposite: there are two leaves per node along the stem
    Leaf blade base
    the leaf has a distinct leaf stalk (petiole)
    Leaf blade edges
    the edge of the leaf blade has lobes, or it has both teeth and lobes
    Leaf blade hairs
    the leaf blade has simple hairs with no glands, and not tangled or wooly
    Leaf blade length
    1.5–5 mm
    Leaf blade shape
    • the leaf blade is orbicular (roughly circular, as wide as long)
    • the leaf blade is reniform (kidney-shaped; wider than long)
    Leaf blade surface colors
    the upper side of the leaf blade is relatively uniform in color
    Leaf blade texture
    the leaf blade is herbaceous (has a leafy texture)
    Leaf blade width
    1.5–5.8 mm
    Leaf duration
    • the leaves drop off in winter (or they whither but persist on the plant)
    • the leaves remain green all winter
    Leaf form
    the leaves are green, with an expanded blade and a leaf-like texture
    Leaf hair orientation
    the hairs are flat against the leaf surface, mostly pointing towards the leaf tip
    Leaf spines
    there are no spines on the leaf edges
    Leaf stalk
    the leaves have leaf stalks
    Leaf stalk length
    Up to 140 mm
    Leaf teeth and lobes
    the leaf has lobes that radiate from the base, somewhat like a hand
    Leaf tip
    the tip of the leaf blade is rounded, with no point
    Leaf type
    the leaves are simple (i.e., lobed or unlobed but not separated into leaflets)
    Leaf types
    There is a gradual change in appearance of the leaves from the base (or near the base) of the plant to those from further up on the stem, with leaves progressively changing as one moves higher on the stem (often becoming shorter, or less toothed/lobed, and/or with shorter petioles).
    Leaf variation
    the leaves are nearly similar in size, prominence of teeth, and length of stalks throughout the stem
    Leaflet number
    7–9
    Leaflet petiolules
    the leaflets of the compound leaf lack petiolules
    Leaves per node
    there are two leaves per node along the stem
    Pinnately compound leaf type
    NA
    Specific leaf type
    the leaves are simple (i.e., lobed or unlobed but not separated into leaflets)
    Stipels
    NA
    Stipule edges
    the stipule margins do not have teeth
    Stipule features
    NA
    Stipule fused to leaf stalk
    the stipules are not fused to the petioles
    Stipule length
    6–7 mm
    Stipule shape
    • the stipules are lanceolate (lance-shaped; widest below the middle and tapering at both ends)
    • the stipules are ovate (widest below the middle and broadly tapering at both ends)
    Stipules
    the plant has stipules
  • Place
    Habitat
    terrestrial
    Specific habitat
    • man-made or disturbed habitats
    • meadows or fields
  • Stem, shoot, branch
    Branched tendrils
    NA
    Direction of stem hairs
    the hairs point mostly upwards to outwards
    Flowering stem cross-section
    the flowering stem is circular, or with lots of small angles so that it is roughly circular
    Hair between stem nodes
    the stem has hairs between the nodes
    Hairs between stem nodes
    at least some of the hairs on the stem have glands
    Hooked hairs on stem between nodes
    no
    Leaves on stem
    there is at least one full leaf above the base of the flowering stem
    Length of hairs between stem nodes
    0.5–1.2 mm
    Plant height
    Up to 40 cm
    Stem hair distribution
    the hairs on the stem are distributed more of less uniformly
    Stem orientation
    • the stems are upright or angled outwards
    • the stems trail at the base, but may turn upwards at the tips
    Stem spacing
    the plant is solitary, or a few plants are growing together
    Stem succulence
    the stems are not succulent
    Tendril origin
    NA
    Tendrils
    the plant does not have tendrils

Wetland Status

Not classified

New England Distribution and Conservation Status

Distribution

Connecticut
absent
Maine
absent
Massachusetts
present
New Hampshire
absent
Rhode Island
absent
Vermont
present

Conservation Status

None

Native to North America?

No

Sometimes Confused With

Geranium molle:
mericarp bodies cross-wrinkled, eciliate; seeds striate, and petals mostly 4.5–8.5 (vs. G. aequale, with mericarp bodies smooth, densely ciliate near the base, seeds +/- smooth, and petals 3.5–4.5 mm long).

Synonyms

  • Geranium molle L. var. aequale Bab.

Family

Geraniaceae

Genus

Geranium

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Information from Dichotomous Key of Flora Novae Angliae

1.  Geranium aequale (Bab.) Aedo E

smooth Dove’s-foot crane’s-bill. Geranium molle L. var. aequale Bab. • MA, VT. Fields, lawns, areas of habitation.