Geranium gardneri de Lange

New Zealand J. Bot. 43: 564 (2005) APNI

Taxonomic status:Accepted

Occurrence status:Present

Establishment means:Native

Prostrate or scrambling perennial; stems to 2 m long, hispid, with short to long, recurved to spreading hairs, rarely glabrescent; taproot thickened. Leaves reniform (to c. triangular on upper stems), 1–4 cm long, palmatifid into 3–5(–7) broad, 2- or 3-sected, sometimes toothed, primary lobes; ultimate lobes acute, or obtuse and minutely mucronate; upper surface with scattered curved hairs; stipules ovate to triangular, acuminate, often laciniate. Flowers solitary or paired; peduncles 0.5–2.7 cm long, pedicels 0.5–1.6 cm long. Sepals narrow-ovate, 3.5–4 mm long, acute, becoming broad and vertically infolded in fruit, pubescent with minute glandular and eglandular hairs and longer curved or spreading hairs; mucro 0.5–1 mm long, margin translucent, usually ciliate; petals obovate, 4.5–5.5 mm long, truncate to retuse, bright pink at apex grading to white; anthers off-white with fine purple dehiscence lines. Fruits 11–16 mm long; mericarps sparsely pubescent with short recurved to divergent hairs becoming longer toward awn, and scattered long hairs; suture margins not ciliate but sometimes with occasional short hairs; seed rugose with oblong and isodiametric alveolae and occasional membranous deposits. Flowers throughout the year, mostly Oct.–Apr.

CVU, EGL, EGU, GipP, Glep, Gold, HNF, HSF, MonT, NIS, OtP, OtR, SnM, VAlp, VRiv, VVP, WaP. Also SA, NSW, ACT, Tas. Also native to New Zealand. A widespread species occurring predominantly within open-forests and sheltered sites in high-rainfall areas, having the tendency to become weedy.

Smith (1999) commented that Geranium gardneri is clearly differentiated morphologically and chemically (unpublished study) from G. solanderi, apparently characterised by the coarse recurved hairs on stems, petioles and (usually) leaf surfaces, causing plants to be quite rough to touch, and in having a thickened tapering taproot which is never napiform as found in G. solanderi. Hairs on leaf surfaces may be somewhat tuberculate, a feature known to occur occasionally in G. homeanum to which it is closely allied. The name G. gardneri was proposed by de Lange (2005) to recognise this entity. However, Aedo (2017) synonimises G. gardneri with G. solanderi, and notes that his study has confirmed that intermediate character states or a combination of the features diagnostic of each form are common in Australian material. Aedo points out that all of the character states vary in a continuum and independently. Aedo argues that G. solanderi is a very variable species with some remarkable forms not yet fully resolved, and as such any attempt to split it might be premature and unfeasible. G. gardneri is maintained here pending a more detailed study of the Australian plants.

Created by: Neville Walsh, 2016-02-25
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.

Hero image
Distribution map
life Life
kingdom Plantae
phylum Tracheophyta
superorder Rosanae
order Geraniales
family Geraniaceae
genus Geranium
Higher taxa



Source: AVH (2014). Australia's Virtual Herbarium, Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria, <>. Find Geranium gardneri in AVH ; Victorian Biodiversity Atlas, © The State of Victoria, Department of Environment and Primary Industries (published Dec. 2014) Find Geranium gardneri in Victorian Biodiversity Atlas
  Bioregion Occurrence status Establishment means
Glenelg Plain 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
Northern Inland Slopes present native
East Gippsland Lowlands present native
East Gippsland Uplands present native
Highlands-Southern Fall present native
Highlands-Northern Fall present native
Otway Ranges present native
Monaro Tablelands present native
Victorian Alps present native
Snowy Mountains present native

State distribution

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