oxford views updated May 18 2018
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 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.
oxford 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.
oxford views updated May 11 2018
genus of plants with fruit shaped like a crane's bill XVI; genus Pelargonium
XVIII. — L. — Gr. geránion
, f. géranos CRANE
oxford views updated May 29 2018
Genus of 400 perennial plants. They bear pink, purple or white flowers. Family Geraniaceae.