Geranium lucidum, commonly known as Shining Cranesbill or (in North America) Shining Geranium, is a herbaceous annual plant of the genus Geraniaceae.
Shining Cranesbill is a Geranium type plant readily identifiable by the glossy, roundish leaves. The flowers are smallish, deep pink and unnotched.
Common, especially in the west, in hedgerows, walls and rocks and other bare places, often on lime. In flower from late spring to early autumn.
The first of the cranesbill family to appear in the hedgerows of Wales, Shining Cranesbill is a tiny pink flower of the native hardy geranium family, Geraniaceae. It has a delicate little pink flower with red stems; the young leaves are attractively shaped and shiny, unlike any other member of the geranium family. The older leaves turn red to add more colour to the mounded clump.
Cranesbills get their name from the long straight pointed beak that appears at the top of the fruit pod.
This plant likes warm well-drained ground, or cover for container tops, and will seed itself around, flowering from April onwards. Easily pulled up from where you don't want it.
Habitat and ImpactEdit
In the Pacific Northwest, shiny geranium is most abundant in oak woodlands and open grasslands in the Willamette Valley in Oregon, but is also found in other areas such as the Portland area, northern California, Bayview State Park in Skagit County, Washington and in southwest Washington. It is usually found in well-shaded woodlands and in forest openings. It is sometimes found growing with its close cousin herb robert but seems to be more limited by shade than herb Robert. Although shiny geranium does well in disturbed sites such as roadsides, it can also invade into and overwhelm high quality native habitat, both in forests and open grasslands
Growth And ReproductionEdit
Shiny geranium reproduces by seed and is pollinated by insects. The seeds form in capsules with a long pointy "beak" that gives the plant one of it's common names crane's bill. Seeds are forcefully ejected when ripe, helping it spread up as well as out from parent plants. This is probably why this plant can be found in crevices of tree trunks or spreading up hillsides. This plant can sometimes last two years but is most often an annual. Flowering is from April-May to July and seeds mature and spread usually from late June to early July. Germination is in late summer to early fall
Low-growing annual with small, pink, 5-petaled flowers that grow in pairs on little stems
Leaves are shiny (especially later in the season), round to kidney-shaped with 5-7 lobes (that are themselves shallowly lobed)
Sepals (around the base of the flower) are keeled (stick out) with noticeable cross-ribs
Stems are reddish and not hairy, up to 20 inches tall
Bloom time is spring to late July
Resembles the common yard weed called dovefoot geranium (Geranium molle) but dovefoot's petals are deeply notched (looks like the flowers have ten petals instead of five), the plant is more fuzzy and the stems are less red
Prevention: Seeds of shiny geranium can be carried on shoes and vehicles, so special care should be taken to clean off after entering areas infested with this plant. Watch for new patches of this plant during bloom time (from April to July).
Small patches: Plants can be hand-pulled or dug out before they are in seed.
Larger patches: Plants can be sprayed before flowering (late March through April) with either a broadleaf herbicide (if growing with desireable grasses) such as triclopyr (e.g. Brush B Gon) or with a non-selective herbicide such as glyphosate (e.g. Roundup). Alternatives to spraying for large sites include burning with a propane-based burning tool several times each growing season (if burning is allowed in your location) or covering with sheet mulch for at least one or two growing seasons (although this method has not been tested on shiny geranium). Follow up for several years is necessary to ensure successful eradication and depletion of the seed bank