views updated May 18 2018

Geraniaceae A family of herbs or low shrubs, rarely tree-like, that have alternate lobed or compound stipulate leaves. The flowers are regular, usually pentamerous with free petals and sepals, and usually with twice as many stamens as petals, a superior 3–5-celled ovary, and usually a long beak bearing the free stigmas. The fruit is a lobed capsule, the lobes usually 1-seeded, sometimes separating. There are 14 genera, with about 730 species, in temperate and tropical zones. Garden ‘geraniums’ are varieties of Pelargonium species from S. Africa, with slightly irregular, spurred flowers.


views updated Jun 11 2018

ge·ra·ni·um / jəˈrānēəm/ • n. a herbaceous plant or small shrub of the genus Geranium (family Geraniaceae), which comprises the cranesbills and their relatives. Geraniums bear a long narrow fruit that is said to be shaped like the bill of a crane. ∎  (in general use) a cultivated pelargonium. ∎  the scarlet color of many cultivated pelargoniums.


views updated May 11 2018

geranium genus of plants with fruit shaped like a crane's bill XVI; genus Pelargonium XVIII. — L. — Gr. geránion, f. géranos CRANE.


views updated May 29 2018

geranium (Pelargonium) Genus of 400 perennial plants. They bear pink, purple or white flowers. Family Geraniaceae.


views updated May 14 2018

Pelargonium See GERANIACEAE.