Mystery Weed Identified: Geranium Molle

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A number of Root Simple readers identified a plant that springs up in our backyard every winter. It’s Geranium molle.

Readily pollinated by hymenoptera, Geranium molle has two popular names: Dovefoot Geranium and Awnless Geranium.

Native to the Mediterranean, it was introduced to North America. The Plants for a Future database has a reference to the use of Geranium molle on wounds (Glossary of Indian Medicinal Plants). Other than that, it’s not an exciting plant from a human perspective.

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10 Comments

  1. Thanks for the ID. Is this in the same plant family as that one that has those little fish hook seeds that attach themselves to your clothes and yet have those pretty, tiny, purple flowers?
    I really need another class or walk with the Sierra Club! Thanks!

    • And I was just noticing how closely it resembles another geranium that we purchased from Annie’s Annuals. Funny how we humans differentiate “weeds” from the plants we cultivate. Would be interesting to study what aesthetic features make a plant undesirable.

  2. I remember once hearing someone call Alyssum a ‘weed’. Just a matter of perspective, I guess. And a plant that grows where you don’t want it. Living in the desert, I am very grateful for any spot of green.

  3. I’m no expert and don’t have a better suggestion, but the leaves look pretty different than the ones in the illustration IMHO. Hmmm…

  4. I was looking at this the other day, but I don’t think it is the same plant. The leaves have slightly different shape and no red dots.

  5. I’ve been looking around a bit and have found a few plant families that seem to fit the description, but no spot on match. My maybe’s are Sanicula, Alumroot Heuchera, and Malva. I’ll keep looking.

    • I’m definitely still not sold. Found some mallows that looked closer, but nothing exact. Wondering what about molle has people thinking its the same plant?

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