geranium


geranium
/ji ray"nee euhm/, n.
1. any of numerous plants of the genus Geranium, which comprises the crane's-bills.
2. the wild geranium, G. maculatum, of eastern North America, having loose clusters of lavender flowers.
3. Also called stork's-bill. any of various plants of the allied genus Pelargonium, native to southern Africa, having showy flowers or fragrant leaves, widely cultivated in gardens and as houseplants.
4. a flower of this plant.
5. a vivid red color.
[1540-50; < NL, for L geranion < Gk geránion name for various plants the fruit of which was thought to resemble a crane's bill, deriv. of géranos CRANE; akin to L grus]

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Any of the approximately 300 species of perennial herbaceous plants or shrubs that make up the genus Geranium (family Geraniaceae), native mostly to subtropical southern Africa.

They are among the most popular bedding and greenhouse plants. The closely related genus Pelargonium contains some 280 species of annual, biennial, and perennial herbaceous plants also commonly called geraniums. The showy, or Martha Washington, geraniums (P. x domesticum) have large pansylike flowers, few to the cluster. Some geraniums are grown as basket plants indoors and out; they are also used as ground covers in warm areas. Some species have fragrant leaves. Geranium oil smells like roses and is used chiefly in perfumes, soaps, and ointments.

Hybrid geranium (Pelargonium × hortorum).

John H. Gerard

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▪ genus Geranium
also called  Cranesbill (genus Geranium) 

      any of a group of about 300 species of perennial herbs or shrubs in the family Geraniaceae, native mostly to subtropical southern Africa. Geraniums are among the most popular of bedding and greenhouse plants. The closely related genus Pelargonium contains some 280 species of annual, biennial, and perennial herbaceous plants that are commonly called geraniums.

      The cultivated geraniums of the genus Pelargonium are herbaceous to woody, with thick fleshy leaves varying in shape from round to lobed to deeply cut; the flowers, borne in terminal clusters, vary in colour from white through shades of pink to deep red and violet. Most of the cultivated species are hybrids. Double flowers and mixed colours as well as ragged or frilled petals are available. While mostly propagated by stem cuttings, from which flowering plants can be produced in four or five months, geraniums are also grown from seed. Breeding and selection has resulted in a line of seed geraniums useful in bedding for their regular symmetry, elongated flower stalks, and habit of rapid and clean dropping of flower petals.

      The show, or Martha Washington, geraniums (P. × domesticum, largely derived from P. cucullatum, P. angulosum, and P. grandiflorum) have large pansylike flowers, few to the cluster. Zonal, house, or bedding geraniums (P. × hortorum, a complex hybrid largely derived from P. inguinans and P. zonale) are the familiar forms in garden culture and in pots indoors. Ivy, or hanging, geraniums (P. peltatum) are grown as basket plants indoors and out; they are also used as ground covers in warm areas. The aromatic, or scented-leaved, geraniums are found in several species, including P. abrotanifolium, P. capitatum, P. citrosum, P. crispum, P. graveolens, and P. odoratissimum. Minty, fruity, floral, and spicy fragrances are released readily when their leaves are rubbed or bruised.

      Several African Pelargonium species are commercially important for geranium oil, an essential oil used in perfumery. Geranium oil, which is also called pelargonium oil, or rose-geranium oil, is colourless to pale yellow-brown or greenish and has an odour like that of roses. It is used chiefly in perfumes, soaps, ointments, and tooth and dusting powders.

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Universalium. 2010.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Geranium — Géranium (genre)  Cet article concerne le genre Geranium stricto sensu. Pour l article concernant les géraniums de jardinerie, voir Pélargonium …   Wikipédia en Français

  • géranium — [ ʒeranjɔm ] n. m. • 1545; lat. bot. , du class. geranion, mot gr., de geranos « grue » 1 ♦ Bot. Plante herbacée (géraniacées) aux fleurs roses et aux feuilles très fortement aromatiques. Géranium herbe à Robert. 2 ♦ Cour. Pélargonium. « elle… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • geranium — [jə rā′nē əm] adj. [L < Gr geranion, cranesbill, dim. < geranos, a crane < IE base * ger , echoic of hoarse cry > CRANE] designating a family (Geraniaceae, order Geraniales) of dicotyledonous plants, including the pelargonium n. 1.… …   English World dictionary

  • Geranium — ist der wissenschaftliche Name der Geranien oder Storchschnäbel, zu denen im Alltagsgebrauch vor allem (heute botanisch unkorrekt) auch die Pelargonien gezählt werden. ein Asteroid des Hauptgürtels, siehe Geranium (Asteroid) …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Geranium — (Storchschnabel), in die Familie der Geraneen gehörend, eine aus Sträuchen und krautartigen Pflanzen bestehende Gattung, von welcher die Letztern meistens im freien Lande gedeihen, die Pelargonien hingegen und andere in wärmern Erdstrichen… …   Damen Conversations Lexikon

  • geranium — GERÁNIUM s.n. (în sintagma) Ulei de geranium = ulei eteric (eter) cu miros de trandafir obţinut din unele specii de plante. [pr.: ni um. – var.: gerániu s.n.] – Din fr. géranium. Trimis de gall, 16.06.2002. Sursa: DEX 98 …   Dicționar Român

  • Geranium — Ge*ra ni*um (j[ e]*r[=a] n[i^]*[u^]m), n. [L., fr. Gr. gera nion, from ge ranos crane: cf. F. g[ e]ranium. See {Crane}, n.] [1913 Webster] 1. (Bot.) A genus of plants having a beaklike torus or receptacle, around which the seed capsules are… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • geranium — 1540s, from L. geranium, from Gk. geranion, the plant name, dim. of geranos crane (cognate with L. grus Eng. CRANE (Cf. crane)), from supposed resemblance of seed pods to cranes bills; the native name was also cranebill. As a color name from 1842 …   Etymology dictionary

  • Geranĭum — (G. L., Storchschnabel), Pflanzengattung aus der Familie der Geraniaceae, Monadelphie, Pentandrie L., Kelch fünfblätterig, ohne Honigröhrchen, fünf Blumenblätter, zehn Staubgefäße an der Basis kurz, einbrüderig, abwechselnd größer u. an der Basis …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Geranĭum [1] — Geranĭum L. (Storchschnabel), Gattung der Geraniazeen, einjährige und ausdauernde Kräuter mit gegenständigen, gestielten, meist rundlich gelappten Blättern, ein bis zweiblütigen, weniger häufig doldigen Blütenständen und in fünf Teilfrüchte mit… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Geranĭum [2] — Geranĭum, Teerfarbstoff, aus unreinem Fuchsin mit Gehalt an Phosphin und braunem Farbstoff …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon


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