E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Geranium erianthum DC.
northern geranium (northern crane's-bill; woolly geranium)
Geraniaceae (Geranium family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Virginia Skilton  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #46900)

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Distribution of Geranium erianthum
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Species Information

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Perennial herb from a thick stem-base or rhizome; stems ascending to erect, branched hairy with the hairs pointed downward, 20-80 cm tall.
Basal leaves few, palmately divided into 3-7 segments, rounded in outline, irregularly toothed, long-stalked, 1.5-10 cm long, wider than long; stem leaves similar, opposite, unstalked.
Inflorescence a terminal cluster of 2-5 short-stalked flowers; petals blue to pinkish-purple, rarely white, glabrous on the inner surface except hairy at the base, 16-20 mm long; sepals 8-12 mm long with bulbous-tipped hairs, tips of the sepals bristly; anther filaments conspicuously long-hairy, the hairs up to 3 mm long.
Carpels, hairy; styles 25-32 mm long, the beak 6-9 mm long; seeds solitary, these flung out when the carpel suddenly splits.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

USDA Species Characteristics

Flower Colour:
Blooming Period:
Early Summer
Fruit/Seed characteristics:
Colour: Brown
Present over the
Source:  The USDA

Habitat / Range

Mesic to moist meadows, thickets and open forests in the montane to lower alpine zones; common in the Coast Mountains N of 54degreeN, rare eastward in BC; amphiberingian, N to AK and YT and E to W AB; E Asia.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Geranium erianthum

The table below shows the species-specific information calculated from
original data (BEC database) provided by the BC Ministry of Forests and Range.
(Updated August, 2013)

Site Information
Value / Class




Elevation (metres) 250 888 1700
Slope Gradient (%) 0 21 90
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
5 205 360
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
1 4 7
Modal Nutrient Regime
Number of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in: BAFA(14), BWBS(1), ESSF(19), ICH(40), IDF(2), MH(5), SBPS(1), SBS(38), SWB(6)


The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is not evaluated, unknown or variable.

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Geranium pratense var. erianthum (DC.) B. Boivin

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References