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geranium,common name for some members of the Geraniaceae, a family of herbs and small shrubs of temperate and subtropical regions. Their long, beak-shaped fruits give them the popular names crane's-bill (for species of the genus Geranium, the true geranium), heron's-bill (genus Erodium), and stork's-bill (genus Pelargonium). The American wild geranium, or wild crane's-bill, has rose-to-purple five-petaled flowers and handsome, deeply forked leaves; the woodland herb Robert is similar but smaller. Florists' geraniums are hybrid varieties of the S African genus Pelargonium in which the "petals" are actually highly modified stamens. Geraniums are cultivated not only as ornamentals but for the aromatic oils extracted from their foliage and flowers for use in flavorings and perfumes. Geraniums are classified in the division MagnoliophytaMagnoliophyta
, division of the plant kingdom consisting of those organisms commonly called the flowering plants, or angiosperms. The angiosperms have leaves, stems, and roots, and vascular, or conducting, tissue (xylem and phloem).
..... Click the link for more information. , class Magnoliopsida, order Geraniales, family Geraniaceae.
(1) A genus of plants of the family Geraniaceae. They are perennial, less frequently annual, herbaceous plants. The leaves are lobed or dissected and have stipules. The blossoms are regular and pentamerous; there are ten stamens; the ovary is superior and consists of five rostrate carpels. There are approximately 400 species that are found everywhere but chiefly in the temperate zone of the northern hemisphere. In the USSR there are more than 50 species. Meadow cranesbill (G. pratense) and wood cranesbill (G. sylvaticum) are common on the edge of forests, in meadows, brushwood, and light forests; G. palustre, in herbaceous swamps; and small-flowered cranesbill (G. pusilium), as a weed. Some species of Geranium are cultivated as ornamentals.
(2) Sometimes plants of the genus Pelargonium, which also belong to the family Geraniaceae, are called geraniums.
T. V. EGOROVA