The Geranium maculatum blooms! This native woodland wildflower grows frequently in Morris Park. In some areas it grows in abundance and the purple flowers cover sections of the forest floor.
In early May in Morris Park, the blooming Geranium flowers display a range of colors from blueish- purple to pink.
The invasive exotic Alliaria petiolata, the Garlic mustard, has become dominant in some areas, crowding out the Geranium plants. The crowding invasive often results in the flowers being hidden from sight, and we have overlooked whole patches of them in bloom. However, since we have undertaken the task of eradicating (or at least controlling) the Garlic mustard, we have been seeing more and more blooming Geranium maculatum.
While removing the Garlic mustard, we have found hundreds of blooming Geranium flowers. The Garlic Mustard is so dense that sometimes we pull up the Geranuim plants when we uproot the Garlic mustard. Of course we very carefully re-plant the native Geraniums in their exact location. Care is taken to make sure the soil is re-consolidated around the uprooted roots, and that the ground looks the same with decomposing leaves as if the Garlic mustard was never there.
This flower grows with enough frequency in Morris Park, that it seeded itself in our yard, which borders the park. Pleased with finding Geranium growing, we have since included it in our native woodland wildflower garden, having divided the volunteer population and used it as a border flower in our garden design.
We recommend using Geranium maculatum in your native plant garden. It is available at nurseries. It offers a beautiful splash of pastel color and it requires no maintainance. It will grow year after year and develop a bigger colony and produce an abundance of flowers.
Keep your eye out for this one in your woodland area.
Like many native flowers in Morris Park, the Geranium maculatum has a high degree of variation. Flowers vary in size and shape as well as color.
This insect was found on the leaf. Perhaps there is some sort of natural relationship?
We have noticed how some flowers, like the one pictured above is lacking in the male parts, such as stamens and anthers, which are very noticeable dark colored features found in some of the previous photos. We figured that perhaps the plant is dioecious, meaning there are male plants and female plants. However it turns out there are female flowers and flowers with both sexual parts, hermaphrodites. The Geranium maculatum is thus considered gyndioecious.
Note how pretty and interesting the palmately lobed leaf is.