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

Geranium molle L.
dovefoot geranium (dovefoot crane's-bill)
Geraniaceae (Geranium family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Virginia Skilton  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #24640)

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Distribution of Geranium molle
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Species Information

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Annual herb from a taproot; stems decumbent to ascending, stiff-hairy, 10-40 cm tall.
Basal leaves few, kidney-shaped in outline, long-stalked, 1.5-5 cm long; divided into 5-7 broad, coarsely toothed lobes, stem leaves few, similar, opposite, short-stalked.
Inflorescence of terminal clusters of usually 2 short-stalked flowers; petals pink, shallowly notched, 3-5 mm long, soft-hairy; sepals slightly shorter than the petals, the tips abruptly pointed; stamens fertile, 10, fused basally.
Carpels, glabrous, finely cross-wrinkled; styles 6-8 mm long, the beak 1-2 mm long; seeds orbicular, glabrous.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Mesic fields, lawns and waste places in the lowland zone; common in SW BC, rare northward along the coast; introduced from Eurasia.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Additional Notes

Dove's foot cranes-bill ... usually has magenta to pink flowers. But populations polymorphic for magenta and white-flowered plants occur--for example, at Redwood Park in Delta. The white-flowered plants probably represent recessive homozygotes at a single gene that have become established by chance in this population.

Source: Griffiths and Ganders. 1983. Wildflower Genetics: A Field Guide for British Columbia and the Pacific Northwest.


Ecological Framework for Geranium molle

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) 24 92 259
Slope Gradient (%) 0 28 100
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
38 206 360
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
0 1 2
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: CDF(23)

Ecological Indicator Information

A shade-intolerant, submontane to montane, Eurasian forb introduced to Pacific and Atlantic North America. Occurs in maritime to submaritime cool mesothermal climates on very dry to moderately dry, nitrogen-medium soils. Occasional in early-seral communities, sporadic in open-canopy forests on very shallow, water­shedding sites following disturbance. Its occurrence decreases with increasing elevation and continentality. Characteristic of disturbed sites.

SourceIndicator Plants of Coastal British Columbia (Information applies to coastal locations only)


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 cool mesothermal.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

Species References

Griffiths, Anthony J. F. and Fred R. Ganders. 1983. Wildflower Genetics: A Field Guide for British Columbia and the Pacific Northwest. Flight Press, Vancouver.

General References