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Geranium (viscosissimum)

Tara Luna
USDI NPS - Glacier National Park
West Glacier, Montana 59936
(406) 888-7835

Family Scientific Name: Geraniaceae
Family Common Name: Geranium family
Scientific Name: Geranium viscosissimum Fisch. & Mey.
Common Name: Sticky geranium
Species Code: GERVIS
Ecotype: Moist meadows adjacent to Aspen forest, Saint Mary, Glacier National Park, Glacier Co., MT.
General Distribution: G. viscosissimum is found from southern B.C. to northern California and northern Nevada, and east to Alberta and south to Colorado and Utah. It inhabits moist to dry open forest and grasslands.
Propagation Goal: plants
Propagation Method: seed
ProductType: Container (plug)
Stock Type: 160 ml conetainers
Time To Grow: 4 Months
Target Specifications: Stock Type: Container seedling<br> Height: 5 to 6 true leaves, 5 cm<br> Caliper: n/a<br> Root System: firm plug in conetainer.
Propagule Collection: Seeds are hand collected in mid August when the capsules turn tan and before they begin to split along the septa. Seeds are gray to brown at maturity. Capsules are collected in paper bags and are spread out in a well ventilated greenhouse. Capsules dehisce forcefully. For efficent seed collection, wrap developing seed capsules in fine mesh bags that allow light transmission when capsules are near maturity. Seeds will be captured in bags as the capsules open.
Propagule Processing: Seeds are cleaned using a hammermill,followed by an office clipper, and screens.
Seed longevity is unknown.
Seed dormancy is classified as physical dormancy.
% Purity: 100%
% Germination: 50 to 84%
Pre-Planting Treatments: Seeds are scarified in a brief, 5 to 10 second hot water bath. After 5 to 10 seconds, seeds are immediately transferred to cold water and left in cooled water overnight. Seeds that were not imbibed (visibly larger) than dry seeds were re-scarified with another 5 to 10 second hot water bath followed by 24 hr cold water soak. Following scarification, seeds are stratified for 30 to 60 days at 1 to 3 C.
Growing Area Preparation/
Annual Practices for Perennial Crops:
Greenhouse and outdoor nursery growing facility.
Sowing Method: Direct Seeding. Seeds are covered with medium. Growing medium used is 6:1:1 milled sphagnum peat, perlite, and vermiculite with Osmocote controlled release fertilizer (13N:13P2O5:13K2O; 8 to 9 month release rate at 21C) and Micromax fertilizer (12%S, 0.1%B, 0.5%Cu, 12%Fe, 2.5%Mn, 0.05%Mo, 1%Zn) at the rate of 1 gram of Osmocote and 0.20 gram of Micromax per 172 ml conetainer.
Greenhouse temperatures are maintained at 21 to 25C during the day and 16 to 18C at night. Seedlings are hand watered and remain in greenhouse until mid May. Seedlings are then moved to outdoor nursery for the remainder of the growing season.
Seedlings are irrigated with Rainbird automatic irrigation system in early morning until containers are thoroughly leached.
Average growing season of nursery is from late April after snowmelt until October 15th.
Establishment Phase: Medium is kept slightly moist during germination. Germination is complete in 3 weeks. Seedlings produced 2 true leaves 3 to 4 weeks after germination.
Length of Establishment Phase: 4 weeks
Active Growth Phase: Root and shoot growth occurs rapidly following germination. Plants are fertilized with 20-20-20 liquid NPK at 100 ppm weekly. Seedlings are root tight in containers in 8 weeks.
Length of Active Growth Phase: 8 weeks
Hardening Phase: Plants are fertilized with 10-20-20 liquid NPK at 200 ppm during August and September. Irrigation is gradually reduced in September and October. Plants were given one final irrigation prior to winterization.
Length of Hardening Phase: 4 weeks
Harvesting, Storage and Shipping: Total Time To Harvest: 4 months
Harvest Date: September
Storage Conditions: Overwinter in outdoor nursery under insulating foam cover and snow.
Length of Storage: 5 months
Other Comments: There are 2 botanical varieties: var. viscossimum, and var. nervosum.
References: Flora of the Pacific Northwest, Hitchcock and Cronquist, 7th edition, University of Washington Press, 1973.
Seeding Rate Statistics for Native and Introduced Species, Hassell, Wendel, U.S.D.I. and U.S.D.A., April 1996.
Seeds: Ecology, Biogeography, and Evolution of Dormancy and Germination, Baskin and Baskin, Academic Press, 1998.
Glacier National Park Native Plant Nursery Propagation Records, unpublished.


Lapp, Joyce; Luna, Tara. 2008. Propagation protocol for production of Container (plug) Geranium viscosissimum Fisch. & Mey. plants 160 ml conetainers; USDI NPS - Glacier National Park West Glacier, Montana. In: Native Plant Network. URL: http://NativePlantNetwork.org (accessed 2021/03/01). US Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, National Center for Reforestation, Nurseries, and Genetic Resources.

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