Shiny geranium. Photo Credit: Bruce Newhouse, Bugwood.org
Shiny geranium infestation. Photo Credit: Bruce Newhouse, Bugwood.org
Also known as: shining geranium, shiny leaf geranium, shining crane’s bill
Shiny geranium has found its niche in Western Oregon and Washington and has taken the region by storm in as little as 15 years. It is an annual herbaceous plant that can escape from gardens and threaten oak and ash woodlands throughout the Willamette Valley.
|Life Cycle:||Annual (life cycle lasts one year)|
|Early Detection and Rapid Response species:||No|
|Height:||Up to 19 inches (48 centimeters)|
|Leaf Description:||Kidney-shaped leaves are lobed and have a waxy tops. This gives them a shiny appearance, especially later in the growing season. The stems have a distinguishing red color.|
|Fruit & Flower Description:||Pink flowers have five separate petals and grow in pairs. It spreads by seeds, which are forcefully ejected and easily spread by boots, vehicles, and animals.|
|Bloom Time:||April to July|
- Shiny geranium is commonly found in shaded oak woodlands and open grasslands.
- It grows well in shady conditionals and prefers wet soils.
- Shiny geranium emerges earlier than most native plants and can quickly dominate an area, smothering other spring wildflowers and perennial plant seedlings.
- As it recedes, it leaves behind bare ground which can be prone to erosion.
- It can produce multiple generations in a year, which makes it difficult to control.
What you can do about it:
- Prevention is the best thing you can do to help control shiny geranium. Its seeds can be carried on clothes and vehicles, so it is especially important to clean off after entering area infested with this plant.
- Small patches can be carefully hand-pulled of dug up before they produce seeds. Take care to remove the entire root system and disposing of the plant in a plastic bag in the trash—not your yard waste bin or home compost.
- Large areas can be controlled by covering with a deep layer of mulch. For better results, cover with cardboard first and then add a thick layer of wood chip mulch.
Shiny geranium also looks similar to another common weed, dovefoot geranium (Geranium molle). Dovefoot geranium’s stems are green and covered in hairs so that it feels fuzzy to touch.
Herb Robert (Geranium robertianum), another weed, often grows with shiny geranium. Herb Robert’s leaves are covered with short hairs, giving it a sticky feel and it produces a distinct odor when its leaves are crushed.
Noxious Weed Listing:
- Pacific Northwest Weed Management Handbook: Shiny geranium