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Sticky Geranium
Geranium viscosissimum

About Sticky Geranium (Geranium viscosissimum) Geranium viscosissimum, commonly known as the sticky purple geranium, is a perennial in the Geraniaceae family of flowering plants. It is thought to be a protocarnivorous plant. In his 1999 journal article, G.G. Spomer tested several plants in the Pacific Northwest for the carnivorous syndrome, using the digestion of proteins as the diagnostic tool to determine which plants appeared to produce protease enzymes capable of breaking down potential prey. Geranium viscosissimum displayed a capability to digest and absorb the 14C-labeled algal protein placed on the sticky trichomes that the plant possesses. However, it is not known whether the digestive enzymes were produced by the plant itself or surface microbes. Additionally, some definitions of carnivory require the plant to gain some tangible benefit in capturing and digesting prey, such as increased seed yield or growth. Such an experiment has not been done with this species.
Plant Description
Plant Type
Perennial herb

Max. Height
1.5 - 3 ft (0.46 - 0.9 m)


Growth Rate

Flower Color

Flowering Season

Native Status

Natural Setting
Site Type
Meadows and open places

Sun, Part Shade

Elevation ?
2878' - 8029'

Annual Precip. ?
13.4" - 48.0"

Summer Precip. ?
0.43" - 2.54"

Coldest Month ?
26.3° F - 39.2° F

Hottest Month ?
48.7° F - 67.1° F

Humidity ?
0.56 vpd - 19.49 vpd

Soil Description
Prefers loamy soils

Landscaping Information
Common uses
Bird Gardens

Nursery Availability
Rarely Available

Other Names
Common Names
Sticky Purple Geranium

Sources include: Wikipedia. All text shown in the "About" section of these pages is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Plant observation data provided by the participants of the California Consortia of Herbaria, Sunset information provided by Jepson Flora Project. Propogation from seed information provided by the Santa Barbara Botanical Garden from "Seed Propagation of Native California Plants" by Dara E. Emery. Sources of plant photos include CalPhotos, Wikimedia Commons, and independent plant photographers who have agreed to share their images with Calscape. Other general sources of information include Calflora, CNPS Manual of Vegetation Online, Jepson Flora Project, Las Pilitas, Theodore Payne, Tree of Life, The Xerces Society, and information provided by CNPS volunteer editors, with special thanks to Don Rideout. Climate data used in creation of plant range maps is from PRISM Climate Group, Oregon State University, using 30 year (1981-2010) annual "normals" at an 800 meter spatial resolution.

Links:   Jepson eFlora Taxon Page  CalPhotos  Wikipedia  Calflora

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