Mössbauer studies were performed on single crystals of guanidinium nitroprusside with different orientations of their principal crystallographic axes (a, b, c) with respect to the incident radiation. The markedly anisotropic Lamb-Mössbauer factor fLM, i.e. f(a) LM = 0.118(8), f(b) LM = 0.174(8), f(c) LM = 0.202(8) is in contrast to that of nitroprussides with inorganic anions. The observed anisotropy is ascribed to the anisotropic vibrational mean-square displacement of the nitroprusside anions as a whole which is due to the specific packing of both, anions and cations, as well as the very weak chemical bonding between the ions, typical only for guanidinium nitroprusside. The vibrational anisotropy of iron atoms in barium nitroprusside that has been observed by X-ray structural investigations has a different origin and therefore does not result in an anisotropic Lamb-Mössbauer factor. We have also investigated metastable states in guanidinium nitroprusside that have been populated by means of incoherent irradiation from light-emitting diodes. With a specific orientation of the guanidinium nitroprusside single crystal a population of the metastable states up to 26% could be achieved. Populations of comparable size on lithium, sodium and potassium nitroprussides have only been reached using coherent laser irradiation.