Geranium carolinianum is an annual herb, with several stems, freely branched, to 60 cm long, often reddish, densely hairy; from a taproot, roots associated with VA mycorrhizas (Brundrett and Kendrick 1988); stipules to 1 cm long, pointed (Yatskievych 2006).
Leaves alternate, stalk to 15 cm long, blade, round to kidney-shaped, to 7 cm long and wide, deeply divided in 5-9 parts, divisions toothed or lobed.
Flowers pale pink to pale purple, radially symmetrical, to 3 cm wide, petals 5, to 0.4 cm long, 0.2 cm wide, widest near top, notched at tip, sepals 0.5 cm long, tipped with a small beak (mucro), stamens 10, anthers pinkish-yellow, ovary superior, 5-parted, styles united, stigmas 5; inflorescence 4-12 flowered on a long, hairy stalk; blooms and fruits May-Aug.
Fruit dry, each ovary segment (carpel) 1-seeded, hairy, persistent style column linear, to 5 cm long with a short beak, surrounded by persistent sepals to 1 cm long, 0.5 cm wide (Yatskievych 2006).
Wetland status: UPL.
Frequency in NYC: Infrequent.
Habitat: Dry, sandy soil, rocky woods, fields.