Shiny Geranium a Threat

This fall the road through the woods to Allen Canyon Creek through Les Greear’s Ranch suddenly turned bright green with the autumn rains.  It has been taken over by a small weed called shiny geranium which is something new in Ridgefield.  Not only has it appeared suddenly but it has taken over several acres.

Shiny Geranium - close up

Shiny Geranium – close up

This plant has only been in the Pacific Northwest for a couple of decades but is rapidly expanding its range in both Oregon and Washington.  It is a threat to natural areas because it can crowd out native vegetation. The seeds appear during our fall rains.

In Ridgefield it was discovered in the landscaping at the post office north parking lot and two adjacent properties.  On Pioneer Street it is begun establishing itself west of the 45th Avenue roundabout to the Gee Creek Bridge.

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A search for it in the rest of town and south of town has not shown a single plant.  Because it is only in a few places so far there is a good chance there can be some control if it can be eliminated.  We have notified the city of its presence and Clark County Weed Management.

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The Post Office has given us permission to have volunteers remove it by hand and I have written a property owner on Pioneer for permission to remove it from his property. If this plant can be eliminated from the Pioneer Street right-of-way and from the few properties where it’s been found, then there is a chance it can be prevented from spreading.  If it gets into natural areas such as along Gee Creek it could take over vulnerable areas and be very difficult to remove.

Clark County has produced a brochure:  Shiny geranium brochure (PDF)

Written by Paul Snoey

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