Wild Geranium Has Popped!

I did not know until recently how awesome wild geranium (Geranium maculatum) fruits are.

wild geranium Geranium maculatum
This geranium is from April 5th, 2012. Geranium started flowering a couple weeks later this year (you’ll recall last year was freakish).

wild geranium Geranium maculatum
This guy’s ready to pop! The developed fruit photos are from June 19th, 2013.

wild geranium Geranium maculatum
And whoosh. The seeds have been flung far from momma/poppa. If you want to get real fancy about it, this fruit structure is called a polachenarium, a dry schizocarpic fruit consisting of monocarps separating from a longitudinal central axis (columella or carpophore), often remaining attached to the axis at maturity…

wild geranium Geranium maculatum
And a little planthopper nymph (?) for good measure.

Here is a photo by Ronald Toth of NIU’s plant sciences department, showing a relative (Geranium bicknelli, endangered in Illinois) going from flower to furled fruit.

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