Geranium viscosissimum var. viscosissimum
Synonym: Geranium attenuilobum
The photo above shows a close-up of the flower of sticky geranium. Photographed at Jackman Park Campground, Steens Mt...............August 3, 1995.
Also known as sticky crane's-bill, sticky geranium is an attractive hardy perennial wildflower suitable for the wild garden. Plants are short-rhizomatous from a taproot with numerous erect to spreading stems from 40-90 cm high. The herbage of the lower stems ranges from glabrous (var. incisum) to covered with numerous spreading hairs throughout or especially covered throughout with gland-tipped hairs in var. viscosissimum. The leaves are simple with palmate venation, the blade deeply incised into 5-7 large divisions (See photos.). The blades are 6-12 cm wide with the petioles of the lower leaves from 10-30 long.
The inflorescence consists of 2 to several flowers in an open cyme. The peduncles and pedicels are densely pubescent or covered with gland-tipped hairs. The pedicels range from 1.5-4 cm long while each of the sepals is lanceolate to ovate in shape and 8-10 mm long. The petals are obovate with rounded to squared-off tips. They are pink, lavender or violet with purple or dark reddish veins and measure from 14-22 mm long. The inner surface of the petals are covered with long, soft, straight hairs over the lower one-quarter with a few scattered hairs found up to mid petal. The mature stylar column is 28-41 mm long. The stylar column consists of the elongated style with the closely appressed stamens which only diverge from the axis of the style at the anthers. The tip of the style is divided into 5 short, spreading stigma lobes.
The similar Richardson's geranium (G. richardsonii) has petals that are white or pinkish with purple veins. They are densely covered with long, soft, straight hairs over the lower half of the petal. This geranium is more often found in moist, shady places along streams and seeps while sticky geranium is often found nearby, but in drier, more upland habitats.
var. incisum: Herbage of the petioles and lower stems and leaves consists of nonglandular hairs. Found well into north-central Oregon, but more representative of plants from the southern half of the range of sticky geranium.
var. viscosissimum: Herbage of all stems, petioles and leaves consists of gland-tipped hairs. Found southward to northern California and northern Nevada. More representative of plants from the northern portion of the range of sticky geranium.
Sticky geranium may be found growing in meadows and open woodlands from the lowlands to moderate elevations in the mountains.
Sticky geranium may be found from British Columbia south to the east of the Cascade Mts. to northern California and east to Saskatchewan and south through western South Dakota, Colorado, Utah and Nevada.
Variety viscosissimum is found from British Columbia south to northern California and east to Saskatchewan and south to northern Nevada and northern Wyoming.
-The photos above show the palmately veined leaves of sticky geranium. The photo at right shows a lower leaf, while that at right shows a leaf from mid stem. The photo at left was photographed along US 97 at Satus Pass in south-central Washington on June 22, 1997. The photo at right was photographed at the intersections of forest roads 41 & 43 in the Ochoco National Forest of central Oregon on July 13, 2003.