Other Common Names: shining crane's bill
Weed class: B
Year Listed: 2009
Native to: Europe, Asia and Northern Africa
Is this Weed Toxic?:
not known to be
This plant is also on the Washington State quarantine list. It is prohibited to transport, buy, sell, offer for sale, or distribute plants or plant parts of quarantined species into or within the state of Washington or to sell, offer for sale, or distribute seed packets of seed, flower seed blends, or wildflower mixes of quarantined species into or within the state of Washington. Please see WAC 16-752 for more information on the quarantine list. For questions about the quarantine list, contact the Washington State Department of Agriculture's Plant Services Program at (360) 902-1874 or email PlantServices@agr.wa.gov.
Why Is It a Noxious Weed?
Shiny geranium has recently established in Washington and has quickly spread to many counties. It is difficult to control as the seeds can germinate when conditions are favorable in a variety of habitats. Originally listed as a Class A noxious weed in 2009, it was reclassified to a Class B noxious weed in 2015.
How would I identify it?
It is a small, annual or biennial herbaceous plant with basal, lobed, shiny leaves and often times reddish stems with small pink to magenta flowers.
It has pink, 5 petal flowers. Each flower has 5 hairless sepals that are somewhat expanded, having longitudinal ridges and small latitudinal wrinkles and bristles tips.
Leaves are rounded to kidney-shaped and divided into lobed sections that each have their own 3 lobes at the tip. Leaf blades are 0.4 to 1.6 inches (1 to 4 cm) wide. Leaf stems (petioles) have hairs on one side.
Stem are typically upright to spreading and upright and often have a bright reddish tinge. They may reach a height of around 18 inches.
Fruit Seed Description
Seeds are small (2mm) and oval, hairless and reddish with a black projection.
May Be Confused With
Dovefoot geranium, Geranium molle, is another non-native geranium species that can be found growing in similar habitats as shiny geranium. Dovefoot geranium is covered in hairs (feels soft, fuzzy) and the sepals are hairy and not keeled (ridged) like they are with shiny geranium. See this side-by-side comparison slide.
Where does it grow?
Shiny geranium grows in well-shaded woodlands and forest openings as well as in full to partial sun. It can successfully grow along with herb Robert (Geranium robertianum). Please click here to see a county level distribution map of shiny geranium in Washington.
How Does it Reproduce?
Shiny geranium reproduces by seed and has the capability to forcefully eject seeds when ripe.
How Do I Control It?
Shiny geranium populations can be difficult to control as seeds may germinate whenever conditions are favorable, typically from early spring to fall. Monitoring and repeated control will be needed for multiple years, until the seeds are drained from the soil. Remember to clean off shoes, tools, and vehicles before leaving an infestation, as seeds are known to hitchhike to new locations.
Individual plants and small infestations can easily be controlled by carefully hand-pulling, bagging, and putting in the trash. Make sure to remove its fibrous roots to prevent resprouting. Larger populations can be covered with sheet mulch - ideally overlapping pieces of cardboard covered with a thick layer of woodchips. Make sure to repeatedly monitor and control seedlings before they set seed.
For More Information
Thurston County NWCB Fact Sheet on shiny geranium
See our Written Findings for more information about shiny geranium (Geranium lucidum).
Pierce County NWCB Fact Sheet on shiny geranium
Clark County NWCB Fact Sheet on shiny geranium