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 way into Western Oregon and Washington landscapes and has taken the region by storm in as little as 15 years. It is an annual or biennial plant that can escape from gardens and threaten oak and ash woodlands throughout the Willamette Valley.
|Annual (life cycle lasts one year) or Biennial (life cycle lasts two years)
|Early Detection and Rapid Response species:
|Up to 19.5 inches (50 centimeters)
|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.
|April to May
- Shiny geranium is commonly found in shaded woodlands and open grasslands. It can also be found in gardens and along roadsides.
- It grows well in moist soils but can tolerate a variety of soil and light conditions.
- 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 boots, clothing, and gear 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.
Shiny geranium 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:
Download the Shiny Geranium Best Management Practices Factsheet
- Pacific Northwest Weed Management Handbook: Shiny geranium