Montana Outdoors

May 16, 2014

Geranium viscosiissimum

Filed under: Montana, Wildflowers — Tags: , , — montucky @ 9:23 pm

Sticky Geranium

Sticky Geranium

Sticky Geranium ~ Geranium viscosiissimum

The Nlaka’pamux, an indigenous First Nations people of southern British Columbia considered this flower a woman’s love charm. That seems to fit.


  1. Striking color! Definitely charms the soul.
    It’s good to know the names of flowers and their history.
    A man came to work on the phone line at my house one day, and he saw all of the different kinds flowers my husband had planted in the front yard.
    He kept pointing at this one or that one, asking me to tell him their names. I didn’t know. They were all in one category in my mind: Beautiful Flowers.
    Since I could not answer any of his flower questions correctly, the man finally said, “Do you live here?”


    Comment by Mary Strong-Spaid — May 16, 2014 @ 9:49 pm

    • Identifying the flowers is a time-consuming process. I’ve spent hundreds of hours doing it. Many are unique to only one fairly small geographic area too, which adds to the difficulty. I get a lot of help from a book called Plants of Southern Interior British Columbia and the Inland Northwest. It does a fairly complete job of covering this part of Montana. Sometimes though it will not have one listed and I use a website for the Burke Museum at the University of Washington and I find a surprising number of our plants included there. One of my reasons for maintaining this blog is provide information on wildflowers in this area and information on the places that I visit for folks who might use it for research, and so I try to get the right identifications. It is interesting how many people do find the information useful. I got a kick out of your anecdote: I’ve been in a similar situation many times myself! …”The scientific name for this one is ‘Pretty Little Blue Flower'”.


      Comment by montucky — May 16, 2014 @ 10:05 pm

      • When I visited Vancouver in 2000 I bought Lone Pine’s similar guide to Coastal British Columbia, not to learn the flowers of that area but because I liked the book’s format and hoped to see someone follow up with one in that style for Texas. As far as I know, no one has yet done so


        Comment by Steve Schwartzman — May 23, 2014 @ 9:01 pm

        • Texas has enough population to perhaps support a guide like that, especially if the universities started using it.


          Comment by montucky — May 23, 2014 @ 9:06 pm

  2. What a contrast – that intense colour on such a delicate flower!


    Comment by wordsfromanneli — May 16, 2014 @ 10:14 pm

    • Yes, it is a deep color. It just began to bloom yesterday but I waited for clouds today to try for a photograph to get the true color of the blossom. The flowers last quite awhile on this species too.


      Comment by montucky — May 16, 2014 @ 10:33 pm

  3. Now this is a lot more attractive than my picture of an old boat!


    Comment by Malcolm R. Campbell — May 16, 2014 @ 10:55 pm

  4. Beautiful colours – just been working through your Flickr pages: some wonderful images (going to take me awhile ! )



    Comment by David A Lockwood — May 17, 2014 @ 4:16 am

    • Thanks David. I guess I’ve put quite a few photos on Flickr over the past 8 years or so.


      Comment by montucky — May 17, 2014 @ 9:54 pm

  5. It’s only been a couple of years ago that a British friend pointed out to me that the garden-center geraniums aren’t the only geraniums in the world. I can’t remember the variety she was using as bedding plants, but they looked much more like this than our common patio plant. This one’s color is gorgeous. And is that some sort of little walking stick or other insect in the first photo?


    Comment by shoreacres — May 17, 2014 @ 6:08 am

    • I’m glad these wild ones are fairly abundant because we’ve not had much luck growing a geranium in a flower garden! I don’t know if that’s an insect or not. I didn’t notice it when I took the picture. It might be because I see no sign of it in the second photo which was taken only 30 seconds after the first.


      Comment by montucky — May 17, 2014 @ 9:59 pm

    • The website of the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center lists 10 species of geraniums that are native to the United States and Canada. Most garden-center plants come from other parts of the world.


      Comment by Steve Schwartzman — May 23, 2014 @ 9:07 pm

  6. Now that is purple. I wonder if the color could be leached out for use as a dye? But perhaps the flower was too rare or sacred to use that way. Beautiful photos!


    Comment by Sue — May 17, 2014 @ 6:12 am

    • I haven’t read that the blossoms were used in making dye, but the plant was medicinally for several different things, and caution is prudent because the leaves resemble those of a toxic species of Monkshood.


      Comment by montucky — May 17, 2014 @ 10:04 pm

  7. Beautiful!


    Comment by centralohionature — May 17, 2014 @ 6:36 am

  8. I love that color! My color finding software calls it orchid. The viscosiissimum part of the scientific name is interesting. I’ve never heard it before.


    Comment by New Hampshire Garden Solutions — May 17, 2014 @ 7:02 am

    • It’s a color that draws attention from quite a distance. It’s nice to have numbers of the plants around and the bloom for quite awhile.


      Comment by montucky — May 17, 2014 @ 10:06 pm

  9. Another beautiful image.


    Comment by anniespickns — May 17, 2014 @ 7:10 am

  10. Wow, the color in that photo just pops off the page! It IS a charmer. πŸ™‚


    Comment by Mama's Empty Nest — May 17, 2014 @ 9:28 am

    • It really is a strong color, yet the petals are fairly soft and frail.


      Comment by montucky — May 17, 2014 @ 10:07 pm

  11. Gorgeous color and detail, great capture!


    Comment by bayphotosbydonna — May 17, 2014 @ 12:46 pm

    • Thanks Donna. I love these blossoms and they are easy to photograph, unlike many of the softer pastels.


      Comment by montucky — May 17, 2014 @ 10:08 pm

  12. Beautiful colour and nice capture.

    (I’ve got several unidentified flower images that have similar petals, stamens etc Maybe they’re geraniums too).


    Comment by Vicki — May 17, 2014 @ 6:56 pm

    • There seem to be quite a few species in the family. There are at least 11 in this little area. Interestingly, the leaves are very pretty on all of them.


      Comment by montucky — May 17, 2014 @ 10:13 pm

  13. What an intense colour! I’m sure that must be part of the allure. Beautiful photos!


    Comment by Jo Woolf — May 18, 2014 @ 10:59 am

    • I’m sure it must be. One of nature’s small spectacles!


      Comment by montucky — May 18, 2014 @ 8:04 pm

  14. I was just going to remark (and then saw your reply above) that geraniums seem to be a huge family with very diverse-looking blooms. This one is such a pretty color.


    Comment by Candace — May 18, 2014 @ 1:52 pm

    • Oddly enough I’ve found only one other species of wild Geranium growing here. I’m glad we have this one though; it’s a favorite.


      Comment by montucky — May 18, 2014 @ 8:05 pm

  15. Gorgeous! I need to get some of those for my amulet bag … πŸ˜‰


    Comment by Teresa Evangeline — May 18, 2014 @ 3:11 pm

    • They would be a nice addition! I trust most of the instincts of the ancient ones.


      Comment by montucky — May 18, 2014 @ 8:06 pm

  16. Hi Montucky, Sure is pretty enough for that charm purpose. Have an outstanding day tomorrow!


    Comment by wildlifewatcher — May 18, 2014 @ 5:09 pm

    • Tomorrow looks like it will be nice here. I hope it will be there, too!


      Comment by montucky — May 18, 2014 @ 8:07 pm

  17. Beautiful image Terry !!


    Comment by Bernie Kasper — May 19, 2014 @ 6:59 am

  18. hello,
    so very lovely!
    we have been getting rain!


    Comment by Tammie — May 19, 2014 @ 9:09 pm

    • We have too, but only a half inch at a time. Still, with the cool weather, the grasses are flourishing and the valley is beautiful. By the way, last year the bitterroots were blooming in Camas Prairie on June 4… coming up!


      Comment by montucky — May 19, 2014 @ 10:09 pm

  19. Ah…we have this lovely creature in our Wasatch mountains and canyons, too, Terry. Beautiful photos….love the detailed crispness.


    Comment by seekraz — May 20, 2014 @ 6:34 am

    • I thought you might have them there too. They are probably appreciated anywhere they grow!


      Comment by montucky — May 20, 2014 @ 9:04 pm

  20. Beautiful and I mean it.


    Comment by Sartenada — May 29, 2014 @ 2:27 am

    • There are many more in bloom already. They should bloom most of the summer.


      Comment by montucky — May 29, 2014 @ 7:58 pm

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