Geranium potentilloides L’Hér. ex DC.

Soft Crane's-bill

Prodr. 1: 639 (1824) APNI

Taxonomic status:Accepted

Occurrence status:Present

Establishment means:Native

Prostrate to scrambling perennial; stems to c. 100 cm long, sometimes stoloniferous, with sparse to dense, short, soft spreading to recurved or appressed hairs; taproot thickened, much-branched. Leaves orbicular to reniform, 0.5–4.5 cm long, palmatisect with 5–7, trifid, sometimes further dissected or toothed, primary lobes; ultimate lobes obtuse to acute; upper surface with spreading hairs; stipules ovate to lanceolate, acuminate or sometimes laciniate. Flowers solitary (rarely paired); peduncles 0–3.5 cm long; pedicels 1–3.5 cm long; sepals ovate to oblanceolate, 3.5–5 mm long, subacute, margins occasionally translucent, mucro 0.3–1 mm long; petals spathulate to broad-obovate, 4–8.5 mm long, obtuse to retuse, white to pink; anthers yellow to orange. Fruits 12–20 mm long; mericarps sparsely pubescent to pilose, suture margins not ciliate; seed smooth to rugose with isodiametric or elongate alveolae. Soft Crane’s-bill.

Brid, CVU, DunT, EGL, EGU, GipP, Glep, Gold, GGr, HFE, HNF, HSF, MonT, MuM, NIS, OtP, OtR, SnM, Strz, VAlp, VRiv, VVP, WaP, WPro, Wim.

Characterized by single flowers, thickened and branched taproots, and the uniform recurved or appressed indumentum on most or all parts of plant.

Aedo (2017) does not recognise any infraspecific taxa within Geranium potentilloides. Aedo comments that Carolin (1965) distinguished G. potentilloides var. abditum by its seeds, which are blackish with deep elongated alveolae somewhat larger than those of the other two varieties. However, Aedo notes that a broad range of variation in the form of the cells of the seed-coat suggests that this character has little taxonomic value. G. potentilloides var. abditum is here maintained pending a more detailed study of the Australian plants.

Source: Smith, L.P. (1999). Geranium. In: Walsh, N.G.; Entwisle, T.J. (eds), Flora of Victoria Vol. 4, Cornaceae to Asteraceae. Inkata Press, Melbourne.
Updated by: Val Stajsic, 2017-07-27

Aedo, C. (2017). Revision of Geranium (Geraniaceae) in the western and central Pacific area, Systematic Botany Monographs 102: 1-240.

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Distribution map


Source: AVH (2014). Australia's Virtual Herbarium, Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria, <>. Find Geranium potentilloides in AVH ; Victorian Biodiversity Atlas, © The State of Victoria, Department of Environment and Primary Industries (published Dec. 2014) Find Geranium potentilloides in Victorian Biodiversity Atlas
  Bioregion Occurrence status Establishment means
Murray Mallee present native
Wimmera present native
Glenelg Plain present native
Bridgewater present native
Victorian Volcanic Plain present native
Victorian Riverina present native
Gippsland Plain present native
Otway Plain present native
Warrnambool Plain present native
Goldfields present native
Central Victorian Uplands present native
Greater Grampians present native
Dundas Tablelands present native
Northern Inland Slopes present native
East Gippsland Lowlands present native
East Gippsland Uplands present native
Wilsons Promontory present native
Highlands-Southern Fall present native
Highlands-Northern Fall present native
Otway Ranges present native
Strzelecki Ranges present native
Monaro Tablelands present native
Highlands-Far East present native
Victorian Alps present native
Snowy Mountains present native

State distribution

Distribution map
Western Australia
South Australia
New South Wales
Australian Capital Territory