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Dovesfoot Cranesbill

Geranium molle

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Plant Profile

Flowering Months:
Geraniaceae (Cranesbill)
Life Cycle:
Maximum Size:
20 centimetres tall
Fields, grassland, rocky places, sand dunes, wasteland.

Pink, 5 petals
5 notched pinkish-purple petals, up to 1.5cm across. The similar-looking Shining Cranesbill has unnotched petals. All 10 stamens have crimson-coloured anthers. The 5 sepals are shorter than the petals.
Elongated, slender seed pod, beak-shaped.
Divided into 5 to 7 wedge-shaped lobes. Borne either singly on the stem, or in opposite pairs. Long-stalked.
Other Names:
Awnless Geranium, Dovefoot Geranium, Dove's-foot Cranesbill, Dove's-foot Geranium, Downy Geranium, Soft Geranium.
Frequency (UK):

Similar Species

Other Information


Geranium molle, also known as soft geranium or downy geranium, is a species of flowering plant in the geranium family (Geraniaceae). It is native to Europe, North Africa, and Asia, and is naturalized in many other parts of the world. The plant is known for its hairy, downy leaves and small, pink or purple flowers that bloom in the spring and summer months. It is a perennial plant, meaning it will come back year after year. It is often grown in gardens for its attractive foliage and flowers. Geranium molle is similar in appearance to Geranium dissectum, but it has smaller, more finely divided leaves and smaller flowers.


Dovesfoot Cranesbill, Geranium molle: A Stunning Wildflower for Your Garden

Dovesfoot Cranesbill, also known as Geranium molle, is a beautiful wildflower that is native to Europe, but can now be found growing in many parts of the world. This charming and versatile plant is loved by gardeners for its delicate and pretty flowers, which bloom in shades of pink, rose, and magenta. In this blog post, we'll explore the features and benefits of this stunning wildflower.

Appearance: Dovesfoot Cranesbill has delicate, lobed leaves that are bright green and slightly hairy. The plant is low-growing and spreads out in a mat-like fashion, reaching a height of about 10-20 cm. In spring and early summer, Dovesfoot Cranesbill produces delicate clusters of small, five-petaled flowers, which are highly prized by gardeners for their beauty and charm.

Growing Conditions: Dovesfoot Cranesbill is a very hardy plant and can grow in a wide range of soils, from well-drained to moist. It prefers a sunny or partially shaded location, but will tolerate some shade. Once established, Dovesfoot Cranesbill is very low maintenance, needing only occasional watering and the occasional tidy-up to keep it looking its best.

Benefits: Dovesfoot Cranesbill is a fantastic choice for gardeners who want to add some charm and beauty to their gardens. This wildflower is easy to grow and care for, making it a great choice for gardeners of all skill levels. Additionally, Dovesfoot Cranesbill is a valuable addition to any wildlife garden, as it provides an important source of food and habitat for pollinators such as bees and butterflies.

In addition, Dovesfoot Cranesbill is also a great choice for rock gardens, as it will happily grow in between crevices and stones. It is also a great option for adding to containers and window boxes, as it will spill over the sides and create a beautiful cascade of flowers.

Propagation: Dovesfoot Cranesbill is easy to propagate and can be grown from seed or by division. To propagate by seed, simply scatter the seeds on top of well-drained soil and cover with a light layer of compost. Water well and keep the soil moist until the seeds have germinated. Propagating by division is also a simple process and can be done in spring or fall. Simply dig up the clump of Dovesfoot Cranesbill and divide it into smaller sections, each with its own roots. Replant the sections in well-drained soil and water well.

Care: Dovesfoot Cranesbill is a low-maintenance plant that is easy to care for. It prefers a well-drained soil, but will tolerate a range of soil types. Watering is only necessary during periods of drought, and the plant can be trimmed back after flowering to keep it neat and tidy.

Pests and Diseases: Dovesfoot Cranesbill is generally a trouble-free plant and is not susceptible to many pests or diseases. However, it may be susceptible to fungal diseases if grown in overly moist conditions, so be sure to provide good air circulation and avoid watering the foliage.

Uses: In addition to being a beautiful garden plant, Dovesfoot Cranesbill has several other uses. It can be used as an herbal remedy for minor ailments such as skin irritation and digestive problems, and its dried leaves can be used as a tea. Additionally, Dovesfoot Cranesbill is often used as a ground cover in large gardens and parks, as it spreads out to form a dense mat of foliage and flowers.

Design Ideas: Dovesfoot Cranesbill is a versatile plant that can be used in a variety of garden design styles. Here are a few ideas to help you incorporate this charming wildflower into your garden:

  1. Cottage Garden: Dovesfoot Cranesbill is a perfect fit for a traditional cottage garden style, where it can be grown amongst other charming wildflowers such as lavender, foxgloves, and poppies.

  2. Rock Garden: Dovesfoot Cranesbill is a great option for rock gardens, as it is able to grow in between crevices and stones. When planted in a rock garden, it will create a beautiful tapestry of green foliage and pretty flowers.

  3. Container Planting: Dovesfoot Cranesbill is also a great option for container planting, as it will spill over the sides of the container and create a cascading effect. When grown in containers, it makes a great addition to patios, balconies, and decks.

  4. Borders: Dovesfoot Cranesbill is often used as a border plant, as it creates a beautiful edge to a garden bed. When planted in a border, it can be combined with other perennials such as irises, peonies, and astilbes.

  5. Wildlife Garden: Dovesfoot Cranesbill is an excellent choice for a wildlife garden, as it provides an important source of food and habitat for pollinators such as bees and butterflies. When combined with other wildflowers, it can create a stunning garden that is full of life and color.

Conclusion: In conclusion, Dovesfoot Cranesbill is a versatile and beautiful wildflower that is perfect for any garden style. Whether you prefer a traditional cottage garden, a rock garden, or a wildlife garden, this charming plant is sure to add beauty and charm to your outdoor space. So why not add it to your garden today and enjoy its beauty for years to come!


Dovesfoot Cranesbill filmed at many different places.


Music credits
Prelude No. 1 by Chris Zabriskie is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license.

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Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

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