Summer is well underway now, and thus many plant species are producing fruits, and in this case a very artistic one at that. When ripe these amazing looking bills will open up to what looks like a dry flower with seeds in each section, or petal if you like.

The glandular hairs seen here are the source of a very distinct and for most very unpleasant smell and the source of its name in Norway – namely stench crane’s bill. If you touch it the sticky resin will attach itself to your skin and with it trigger a gift of a foul smell you will definitely not forget.

Contrary to the bloody crane’s-bill (Geranium sanguineum) this species has very small flowers and so the big thing is not the visual, but rather its foul smell.

It thrives in a couple of locations in my garden – one is where my patch of wild strawberries also thrives – shallow soil and sunny.

The popular English name is one of several that gives no meaning or homage to the species as the name does not imply anything of its characteristics, which is so evident in this picture – a crane’s bill and the transparent and scent-emitting glandular hairs.

Elevation: 6 meters

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