Meadow Cranesbill (Geranium pratense)

meadow cranessbill

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The meadow cranesbill, also known as cranesbill wildflower, or Geranium pratense, is a beautiful violet flower that’s non-invasive and creates striking colours once blossomed. Read this article to learn more about this saucer-shaped plant.


  • Scientific Name: Geranium pratense
  • Common Name/s: meadow cranesbill, meadow crane’s-bill, meadow geranium, common cranesbill, crowfoot, wild geranium
  • Family: Geraniaceae
  • Origin: native
  • Habitat: meadows, fields
  • Flowering Season: June to July

How to Identify Meadow Cranesbill

Meadow cranesbill flower

These garden flowers have long-stalked leaves that arise from several blunt-edged hairy stem branches. Similar to a wild meadow geranium, these flowers’ stems tend to form a red colour as they’re approaching the end of the flowering season.

In addition, a meadow cranesbill (Geranium pratense) measures 3โ€“4cm across, featuring five hairy sepals and five unnotched petals. Each flower comes with ten stamens and five fused carpels. The flower stalks are typically found in pairs. Moreover, this flower’s colour ranges among strong shades of purple, pink, magenta, pink, and even white.


The Geranium pratense thrives in the shade that comes with trees of an excessive height. Although it prefers a richer kind that’s well-drained and not overly saturated, this plant can handle a range of soil. Summer might be too hot for these plants. They blossom best in areas where they have part shade and part sun.

Furthermore, the growth of Geranium pratense can typically take a few years. But once their mound has formed, they’ll last all the way through summer, from spring until autumn.

It is most common to find meadow cranesbill mid-summer between June/July and September. If these hardy flowers have been cut with a mower, they’ll typically produce a second round of flowers in around September.

You’ll find a meadow cranesbill beside hedgerows, on roadside verges, and on the edges of permanent pastures. These violet flowers love chalk, so you can easily find them on buildings coated with this material.

What Are Meadow Cranesbill Flowers Used For?

Geranium pratense has many helpful uses, such as relieving cholera, haemorrhoids, and diarrhoea. They can also treat nosebleeds, ulcers, and bleeding wounds.

Do Cranesbill Geraniums Spread?

Once planted, the meadow cranesbill spreads out and creates a colourful cover on the ground. If planting in your garden, make sure to use a container of around 40cm in diameter.

How to Grow Meadow Cranesbill

It’s completely possible to plant the meadow cranesbill flower in your garden with proper care and technique. The seeds can either be sown directly into the soil during summer or into trays of compost in spring or autumn. You can enhance germination by gently rubbing the plants’ seeds between two pieces of sandpaper.

This process helps to break down the plant’s tough outer shell. Plant the seeds in flower beds, containers, and patios in cottage or courtyard gardens.

How to Plant the Seeds

  1. Dig a large hole and add a layer of organic compost to the hole’s base and dab it down. 
  2. Place the rootball into the hole and then tap and adjust the height to ensure that it’s the same as when you began. 
  3. Mix in more organic compost and fill it inside the planting hole.
  4. Water it well and add bark chippings around the root area. It will ensure that the soil remains well-drained, as well as prevent weeds from growing.

Is Cranesbill a Perennial?

Yes. Geranium pratense is a clump-forming perennial and has an almost infinite lifespan unless you remove its roots.

Is Wild Geranium Invasive?

Geranium pratense can be grown as an ornamental plant in home gardens, and it isn’t invasive. After flowering, you can lightly shear back and shape the foliage. Best of all, these plants have few pests, aside from slugs, and they don’t tend to attract a family of bees.

Do you have any insightful information on Geranium pratense? Or perhaps you know how to care for this purple flower in your garden properly? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

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