The Dove's-foot Crane's-bill

The Dove's-foot Crane's-bill / Geranium molle / ابرة الراعي

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Status: Very common

The  Dove's-foot Crane's-bill is small annual herb belongs to the Geraniaceae family in the Geraniales order. It is native to the Mediterranean and sub-Mediterranean areas, but is now naturalized in other parts of Europe, The leaves are palmate, cut 5 to 9 times. The basal leaves are arranged in a rosette, the upper ones are sessile, rounded and hairy, alternate, Leaf margin is crenulate and leaf type is dissected, dissected once. Stems are a circular cross section, are generally reddish at the base, and are very hairy, 0-40 cm tall; multiple from the base, branching ,erect to ascending. Flowers are Pink to magenta with 5 petals, each petal is bilobed, shallowly notched, 3-5 mm long, soft-hairy; sepals slightly shorter than the petals, the tips abruptly pointed. The flowers are hermaphrodite and mainly pollinated by Hymenoptera ,blooming from February to May ,and reproducing by seed. Fruits are Carpels, glabrous, finely cross-wrinkled; styles 6-8 mm long, the beak 1-2 mm long; seeds orbicular, glabrous; seed smooth.

Ecology: It is found in hedges, dry grassland, dunes, waste places and cultivated ground . It prefers sunny places on sandy and relatively dry soils. It is glycophyte in terms of salt resistance, obligate natural , and has no spiny parts . It is not succulent flora and follows the Med - Euro-Siberian chorotype.

Medicinal use: The plant is considered to be anodyne, astringent and vulnerary. It is found by experience to be singularly good for wind cholic, as also to expel the stone and gravel in the kidneys.

Cool facts: When their foods are dried which is a needle-shaped, they move in a clockwise direction for a while.

Distrbution in Palestine: Mediterranean Woodlands and Shrublands, Semi-steppe shrublands, Shrub-steppes.

Other names: Dovesfoot Geranium.

IUCN red list status: not evaluated

Local status: least concern