Botanical Name: Geranium dissectum
Species: G. dissectum
Synonyms : Geranium laxum
Common Names: Cut-Leafed Cranesbill, Cutleaf geranium
Habitat: Geranium dissectum is natiive to Europe, including Britain, south to N. Africa and east to Iran. It is cultivated and waste ground, grassland, hedgebanks etc to 375m.
A hairy annual plant growing to about 60cm, although 30 to 40cm is more typical, the leaves of Cut-leaved Cranesbill are deeply divided – almost to the base. Its hermaphrodite mauve flowers, 12 to 18mm across and with five slightly notched petals, are borne on very short stalks, while the sepals of the flowers are densely hairy. Fruits (seeds) ripen in beaked pods formed from five fused sections of the ovary with an elongated column that together looks like the head and beak of a stork. When fully ripened the seed pods open in curls from the base to expose the seeds.
Succeeds in any moderately fertile retentive soil in a sunny position. Tolerates a range of soil types. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer or rabbits.
Edible Uses: Roots are cooked and eaten. A famine food, used when all else fails.
The whole plant, but especially the roots, is rich in tannin. It is antiseptic, highly astringent, styptic and tonic. An infusion of the whole plant, or of the roots alone, is used in the treatment of diarrhoea (especially for children and the elderly), dysentery, cholera, gastro-enteritis, internal bleeding, excessive menstruation etc. Externally, it is used in the treatment of purulent wounds, haemorrhoids, thrush, vaginal discharges, inflammations of the mouth etc. It is best to harvest the roots as the plant comes into flower since they are then at their most active medicinally. The leaves should be harvested before the plant sets seed. Both are dried for later use
Other Uses: A brown dye can be made from the dried flowers of Geranium dissectum.
Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.