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Geranium viscosissimum (Sticky purple geranium)
Glase, Terry

Geranium viscosissimum

Geranium viscosissimum Fisch. & C.A. Mey. ex C.A. Mey.

Sticky Purple Geranium, Sticky Wild Geranium

Geraniaceae (Geranium Family)


USDA Symbol: GEVI2

USDA Native Status: L48 (N), CAN (N)

The many-toothed, deeply-lobed, bright-green leaves of this large, clumped wild geranium occur on strong, branching, 1-3 ft., flower stalks. A lightly-haired plant with several stems, leaves on long stalks, most near the base, and a few pink-lavender to purplish flowers in an open cluster near the top. Pinkish to lavender, 1 1/2 in. wide, saucer-shaped flowers occur at stem tips. Stem, leaves, and flower stalks are covered with sticky hairs.

This is one of several western Geraniums with pinkish-purple flowers; all are similar, distinguished only by technical features. Dove's Foot Geranium (G. molle), with small pink flowers, is a common weed on lawns and in vacant lots and is native to Europe.


From the Image Gallery

18 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Annual
Habit: Herb
Fruit Type: Schizocarp
Size Notes: Up to about 3 feet tall.
Leaf: Green
Fruit: Shaped like an upraised crane's bill.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Pink , Purple
Bloom Time: Apr , May , Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep


USA: CA , CO , ID , MT , NE , NM , NV , OR , SD , UT , WA , WY
Canada: AB , BC , SK
Native Distribution: B.C. to n. CA, e. of the Cascades, e. to Sask., the Black Hills & w. NE.
Native Habitat: Grassy, lowland to higher elevation meadows.

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Low
Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade , Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist
CaCO3 Tolerance: Low
Soil Description: Various dry-mesic to moist soils.


Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Attracts: Butterflies


Description: Like all geraniums, this species can be established from seed though germination is low and field-sown seeds are subject to insect damage. Woody stem cuttings taken in spring will root in heated frames or under intermittent mist.
Seed Collection: Collection is difficult becuse seeds are actively dispersed.
Seed Treatment: Scarification increases germination. If seeds have been air-dried, they are more permeable to water and will require less scarification.
Commercially Avail: yes

Find Seed or Plants

Find seed sources for this species at the Native Seed Network.

View propagation protocol from Native Plants Network.

National Wetland Indicator Status

This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1 (Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here for map of regions.

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Native Seed Network - Corvallis, OR

Web Reference

Webref 30 - Calflora (2018) Calflora
Webref 36 - Jepson eFlora (2019) The Jepson Herbarium, University of California, Berkeley
Webref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter

Additional resources

USDA: Find Geranium viscosissimum in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Geranium viscosissimum in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Geranium viscosissimum


Record Modified: 2023-02-13
Research By: TWC Staff

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