Spotted geranium (Geranium maculatum)

Geranium maculatum or spotted geranium is a perennial native to eastern North America. Geranium derives from the greek word geranos, meaning crane. The reason for the name is that the seedpods resemble the shape of a crane. An interesting property of the seedpod is that, when it dries and splits open, can fling seed up to 30 feet. Each seed contains a tiny tail that curls when dry and extends when wet, enabling the seed to move about until it lodges in a hole or crevice and germinates. Geranium maculatum’s coagulative properties are employed in herbal medicine as a treatment to stop bleeding. And should you find yourself under the unwanted influence of a love potion, the Iroquois believed that a spotted geranium tea could break the spell.

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