Information on Bloody Crane's-bill

Common Name: Bloody Crane's-bill
Scientific Name: Geranium sanguineum
Irish Name: Crobh dearg
Family Group: Geraniaceae
Distribution: View Map (Courtesy of the BSBI)
Flowering Period


Click for list of all flowering by month
Bloody Crane's-bill is not easily confused with other wild plants on this web site.


For me, this plant represents the Burren at its best.  With its most attractive foliage and its bright red-purple flowers it carpets rocky places, banks and even grows in the little hollows in the limestone pavements.  From June to August, these 2-3cm five-petalled flowers appear, each on its own hairy stem.  The leaves are round but deeply divided, almost to the base, into between five and seven lobes. The fruits, as is common to all cranesbills, end in long pointed beaks or bills which split into five seeds. This outstanding native plant of the Burren belongs to the family Geraniaceae.  

I first identified this flower in 1979 in the Burren, Co Clare where I photographed it in 2004. 

If you are satisfied you have correctly identified this plant, please submit your sighting to the National Biodiversity Data Centre

Crane's-bill, Bloody
Crane's-bill, Bloody

When the blooms first appear on this plant, they are a beautiful magenta colour and as they begin to fade, the flowers turn more violet hue.  The stamens also change colour during the short life of the flower: they start out with beautiful blue anthers which, when they have shed their pollen also shed their colour. The leaves also change colour becoming a beautiful rusty red in autumn.