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I have been interested in nature for most of my life but since I retired I spend as much time as I can exploring the nature reserves and wildlife hotspots of my adopted home, Dorset in southern England. Whilst out I record what I see and take snaps where I can (I am no photographer!) and that forms the basis of my Nature of Dorset website. When I find something new I like to research it and write about it in my nature notes, it is how I learn and hopefully you might find my notes helpful as well!

This website is for the people of Dorset interested in wildlife and for people from elsewhere interested in the wildlife of Dorset!

08 December, 2016

Hedgerow Cranesbill: hedging your bets



The cranesbill family are lovely flowers, our garden geraniums all form part of this family and they are very popular. Of the wild species my favourite is the hedgerow cranesbill (Geranium pyrenaicum).

Although most often found along hedgerows and banks it does also occur in open grassy areas which can throw you a bit when you come across it in such a location. It has pinkish or purple flowers visible from May until September. The flowers are perhaps bluer than most wild geraniums which helps with identification. It is also larger than most growing to almost two feet tall and has large seven-lobed leaves. It is a downy plant which gives the leaves and stems a slightly greyish appearance.

I said earlier that geraniums are popular garden flowers and there are cultivated versions of this species and when you Google Geranium pyrenaicum you find no shortage of garden plant suppliers with these for sale. As a result there is little about the wild versions. I am intrigued by the pyrenaicum species name and wonder if this is a plant found most often in the Pyrenees? It does seem to be a native species however.

Hedgerow Cranesbill: hedging your bets