Meadow crane's-bill

Meadow Crane's-bill

©Mark Hamblin/2020VISION

Meadow crane's-bill

Scientific name: Geranium pratense
Meadow crane's-bill has striking violet flowers that pepper hay meadows, verges and grasslands with colour in summer. It is also a popular choice for gardeners and attracts a wide variety of bees.

Species information


Height: up to 75cm

Conservation status


When to see

June to August


The striking bluish-violet flowers of Meadow crane's-bill can be seen in lowland hay meadows, roadside verges and grasslands, particularly ones on chalky soils. It flowers between June and August, colouring the roadsides of areas like the Cotswolds. It is also a popular garden plant that will grow well in sunny spots.

How to identify

The large, purple flowers of Meadow crane's-bill turn into pointed, bill-like seed pods that give the plant its common name. This clump-forming perennial has lobed leaves that are deeply divided.


Found throughout the UK, but rarer in South West England and East Anglia.

Did you know?

The nectar-rich flowers of Meadow crane's-bill are a favourite of many species of bee, including Buff-tailed and Red-tailed Bumblebees, and Honeybees.

How people can help

The Wildlife Trusts manage many grassland habitats sympathetically for the benefit of all kinds of wildlife. Careful grazing with traditional breeds, hay-cutting at the right time and scrub clearance are just some of the ways grasslands are kept in good condition. By volunteering for your local Trust you can help too, and you'll make new friends and learn new skills along the way.