Meadow crane's-bill Geranium pratense

Status Green - Least concern
Best Time to See June, July, August, September
Colour Blue, Purple
Habitat Woodland, Grassland

"Oh, do not frown,Upon this crown Of green pinks and blue geranium"

- Louisa May Alcott, "Dear Grif"


The most widespread and striking of our native geraniums, its blue flowers make a splash in summer. In autumn its leaves turn a deep red.

Where it grows

Meadows, roadsides, grasslands, open woods and dunes, especially in limestone areas in the Cotswolds and Wiltshire. Further north, it is less choosy about soils.

Best time to see

June to September.

Cultural info

  • In the Language of Flowers it symbolises envy.

How's it doing?

Once common in hay meadows, meadow crane's-bill in now largely restricted to road verges due to changes in agricultural practices.

Did you you know?

  • This wildflower was a horticultural favourite even before Elizabethan times. The famous 'Johnson's Blue' is a meadow crane's-bill/Geranium himalayense hybrid. Some nurseries provide double-flowered forms and colour variants including white as garden plants.
  • When seeding, its stems become erect, producing beak-like pods that give the plant its name.
  • Some of its lesser-known names include 'Jingling Johnny', 'blue basins', 'gipsy', 'grace of God' and 'Loving Andrews'.

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