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Washington State Weeds

Shiny Geranium

shiny geranium

Geranium lucidum • Class B

Family Name: Geraniaceae family (jer-ay-nee-AY-see-ee)
Common: Geranium family
Genus: Geranium (jer-AY-nee-um) 
Meaning: From the Greek meaning crane; referring to the beak-like fruit
Species: lucidum (loo-sid-um)
Meaning: Bright, clear lustrous

Shiny Geranium is a low growing plant between 10 to 12 inches high that can tolerate either sun or shade.

Seedlings sprout during the first fall rains and continue to grow through fall and winter, forming large patches that begin to bloom in April and May.

Stems are usually tinged red and have shiny green leaves that are deeply lobed and about 1 ½ inches across. Leaves turn vivid red in summer and fall.

Its five petaled flowers are small, pink, and grow in pairs at the same height, or in amongst the leaves.

Each seed capsule produces five seeds that are forcefully ejected when ripe.  The ability to propel seeds allos this plant to spread in an upward direction, into tree-trunkcrevices, or up steep hillsides.

 Why Is it a Noxious Weed?

Shiny geranium has the ability to spread very quickly and is difficult to control.  Seeds can germinate in a variety of habitats.

Where Does it Grow?

It prefers shade, but will grow in partial to full sun.  It tends to invade undisturbed forest understories and form monocultures that replace native plant communities.


Shiny Geranium can produce up to 5 generations in one year. It establishes quickly in early spring and dominates a site by pushing out man other early season plants.  

Control Options:
  • Hand pulling is a viable control option where populations are small.
  • Hoeing or raking may also work if plants are removed after being loosened up. However, disturbing the soil this way may cause new seedlings to emerge, especially when dealing with large populations of Shiny Geranium. 
  • Because the species is a low-growing plant, it is often found amongst desirable vegetation. Therefore applications of herbicide should be used only where there are large numbers of plants. 

  • Spot spraying with an herbicide containing the active ingredient glyphosate is effective. Glyphosate is non-selective however, and will injure any plants it comes in contact with. Spot applications may be done anytime the plants are actively growing, from early spring to late fall. It is best to treat them before seed capsules mature and produce seed. 

  • When using herbicides, carefully read and follow all label instructions and obey all label precautions. (Note: pesticide product registration is renewed annually and product names and formulations may vary from year to year.)

More Information:

 Download our Flyer or visit Washington State Noxious Weed Control Board Here. Photo by Leo Michels


More Pictures:  

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