Oregon Geranium (Geranium Oreganum)
We found these large purple flowers in alluring sun-spotted drifts while hiking this summer in the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument along the Pacific Crest Trail. Geranium Oreganum, a Northwest native, shares its pointed lobed leaf shape with many non-native siblings, most notoriously the noxious weed ‘Stinky Bob’ (G. Robertianum) (see bottom photo) which creeps into untended shady forests where animals or humans (we neglect to use trailhead boot brushes) unwittingly spread the seeds. Geranium is greek for ‘crane’ possibly in reference to the bird’s beak-like seedpod that remains on the bare stem, after the flowers are gone and the center capsule dries and splits apart, hurling its seeds.
INVASIVE WEED: Stinky Bob, Herb Robert (Geranium Robertianum)