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Black Eyed Geranium
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Black Eyed Geranium
ative Photo: Thingnam Girija
Common name: Black Eyed Geranium • Nepali: रगतगेडी Ragatageri
Botanical name: Geranium ocellatum    Family: Geraniaceae (Geranium family)
Synonyms: Geranium bicolor Royle, Geranium choorense, Geranium ocellatum var. himalaicum

Black Eyed Geranium is a diffuse slender annual herb, which is velvety or hairy-glandular. It grows at lower altitudes in the Himalayas. Leaves are nearly circular or kidney-shaped in outline, 0.8-5 cm broad, divided into up to 7 lobes. Lobes are further divided. Upper leaves are smaller than the lower ones. Pink cup-shaped flowers, 1.2-1.5 cm broad, have a purplish black eye in the center. The species name ocellatum means, like a small eye. Sepals are glandular-hairy. Petals are inverted-egg shaped, twice as long as the sepals, pink with a dark base. The stigma is prominently divided into five parts. Black Eyed Geranium occurs in Afghanistan, China, India, Nepal, Pakistan, and Thailand, in meadows, grassy and rocky banks, edge of forests, cultivated fields, and roadsides, at altitudes of 600-3000 m. It has been confused with Geranium mascatense which only occurs around the Arabian peninsula. Flowering: March-April.

Identification credit: Tabish Photographed in Mussoorie, Uttarakhand.

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