Geranium Robertianum Herb Robert is a small compact herbaceous plant with deeply dissected leaves, reddish stems and grows to about 50cm. The plant produces small five-petalled pale pink/purple flowers during the warmer months. Whilst this is a pretty plant with several high-value ornamental horticulture applications, this species has developed a cult-like following in recent years due to its apparent health benefits, given this variety is believed to be a source of various vitamins and minerals, including the often cited germanium. Apparent actions and/or herbal benefits associated with this plant variety include antibiotic, adaptogen, antiviral, styptic, tonic, diuretic, digestive, sedative, antioxidant and several more obscure claims. At The Climbing Fig, we cannot vouch for any of these claims, and do not provide any recommendation at all - we simply love the beautiful flowers of this somewhat mysterious herb variety. We have however found that this variety, like Artemisia Absinthium Wormwood is great for acting as a natural mosquito repellent in the garden and around outdoor entertainment areas.
Important note: For best results, the seeds of G.robertianum are best started-off in small (30mm) coir Jiffy pellets, ideally inside a suitable Plant Propagation Kit (also available from our online store).
Current lead times are as follows: 3 days for orders that just contain seeds, 10 days for all orders containing bulbs in the green; 9cm pots and/or bareroot trees (but no plugs), 21 days for all orders containing plug plants.
It poses a threat to the forest understory and to plant diversity in the forests of Western Washington. It is capable of growing under a full, closed canopy. Where it occurs, there appears to be fewer native herbaceous species.
Herb Robert is highly adaptable. It is found in moist forests with canopy closure and on dry rocky outcrops. It is also becoming a significant garden pest in some areas. It is found from sea level to mid-mountainous areas in both the Cascades and Olympics. Please click here to see a county level distribution map of herb-Robert in Washington.
Herb Robert has a very shallow, weak root system which makes hand pulling easy. Aim to pull plants before they go to seed as seeds can survive in the soil for a number of years. Frequently monitor sites and control as needed. Plants can be mowed or cut back with a string trimmer or weed whacker early in the season before they flower.
Herb-robert (Geranium robertianum) is a pretty, low-growing British native cranesbill with small, pink flowers. It typically grows in woodlands and hedgerows, but is also found in shady spots in gardens. Many gardeners are happy to leave this attractive wildflower to grow where it seeds naturally, while others consider it a weed.
Herb robert is a native member of the hardy geranium family. It is found growing throughout the British Isles and favours shaded habitats such as woods, hedgerows, banks, coastal shingle and rocky places. It is shallow rooted and the pink flowers, although self-pollinated are visited by hoverflies. It can be allowed to grow to brighten shady areas. Learn more about gardening for wildlife and ways to help our bees;
The non-selective contact herbicides acetic acid (eg. Weedol Gun! Fast Acting or Spot On Fast Acting Weedkiller) and fatty acids (Job Done Garden Ultrafast Weedkiller), or the systemic non-selective herbicide glyphosate can be used in such situations to scorch off foliage. Take care if applying such herbicides between ornamental plants by covering them with plastic sheeting whilst spraying. The covers can be removed once the spray has dried onto the weed foliage.
Herb Robert (Geranium robertianum) has an even more colorful name, Stinky Bob. What is Herb Robert It is an attractive herb that was once sold in nurseries as an ornamental plant and used as a medicinal in simpler times. However, Herb Robert geranium is now a Class B noxious herb in Washington and Oregon. It has the ability to spread and take over native habitat quickly and prolifically. Fortunately, Herb Robert control is easy and non-toxic, although a bit tedious and time consuming. This article goes over Herb Robert identification so you can stop the spread of this potentially damaging plant.
Invasive weeds form a common battlefield for the gardener. Herb Robert is in the geranium family and produces the characteristic crane-shaped seed pod that all members of the family bear. The seeds eject forcefully from the pod and can travel up to 20 feet (6 m.) away from the plant, making it a virtual nuisance. The seeds are not the only problem because Herb Robert growing conditions are flexible such that the weed is adaptable to most soil and site conditions.
Sticky fibers on the seeds attach to animals, people, and machinery to travel and establish in new regions. It was once used to treat toothaches and fever, but those beneficial traits have been buried by the explosion of plants in certain regions.
The weed is actually quite pretty with lacy, deeply defined leaves and pleasant 5-petaled pink flowers. The flower becomes a beak-like pod filled with many tiny black seeds. It grows low to the ground and may be found hiding under desired plants. In forests, it forms dense mats of interlocking leaves and rosette plants. The leaves and stems are covered with sticky hairs that give off a strange smell, leading to the name Stinky Bob.
You can also mow the plants if you can get to them before they flower and seed. It is best to send the weeds to the county composting facility, as most home compost units do not get hot enough to kill seeds. Use organic mulch to control any seedlings and prevent germination.
Germination: As with many perennials, these seeds require a period of moist cold to help them break dormancy. This is done by giving them a cold 'winter' period (artificial or natural), and then a warming to simulate 'spring', and time to grow! Here's how this can be done:
Obtain a planting container that has holes in the bottom for excess water to drain. Place the seeds on the surface of your growing medium, and water the seeds in. Place your container in a cold area (but not freezing, perhaps a refrigerator) for 5-6 weeks. Once the cold period is completed, place the container in a slightly cool room (does not like too much heat to germinate). Be sure to keep the soil moist during this entire germination period. Seedlings will sprout a few weeks, or occasionally several months, after the warming period.
The seeds are in the red casing at the base of the pod. That casing is called the calyx and is formed by the sepals of the flower. In this next picture I have peeled the calyx back to expose the seeds.
Herb Robert (Geranium robertianum) is the villain of many aliases along the scorched slopes of the Columbia Gorge now exposed to a population explosion of invasive species. This small, innocuous-looking plant with pretty pink flowers is one of several Eurasian geraniums that have established themselves in our area in the last three decades.
In the modern age, one place where herb Robert flourishes is under power lines. Supposedly, it has the property to absorb radiation from the soil in a powerline corridor and break it down. In Europe, herb Robert is able to grow along railway lines and break down what nutrients it can retrieve from ground polluted by heavy metals.
Herb-robert: a type of crane's-bill with a reddish stem and similarly-tinted leaves with a mousy scent. It's named after Saint Robert, who used these pale pink, five-petalled flowers to cure the sick, and it's frequently used in herbalism today. As an ornamental flower, it self-seeds readily and serves as a valuable food source for pollinators.
Description: Geranium robertianum is a wildflower native to Ireland. It produces small pink flowers from April to October. Some find the smell of this plant a bit undesirable, which has earned it the nickname Stinking Bob! It is much loved by bees and butterflies.
How To Grow Geranium robertianum From Seed: Using seedling modules or small pots, sow 2 seeds in each cell/pot. Cover lightly with compost, and keep moist. Germination can take 2 weeks. When the seedlings establish, thin to leave only the strongest one in each cell/pot. Transplant the seedlings into larger pots when they outgrow their seed starting pots/cells.
Herb Robert grows from Cairns in the north to Tasmania in the south. In hotter climates grow in dappled shade and water regularly, grows better through the winter in tropical and subtropical areas. It self seeds readily ensuring an abundance of plants.
Herb Robert is a common, distinctive, variable, pink-flowered, ruderal plant of woodlands, hedges and open habitats. Herb Robert stems are frequently reddish, which some people think gives the plant its common name. Besides its colour, herb Robert is usually covered in glandular hairs and has a characteristic, unpleasant scent. It is native throughout the British Isles and continental Europe, and extends east into European Russia, Caucasus, western Siberia and Central Asia. It has been introduced in other parts of the world and is naturalised in North America and China.
Herb Robert typically flowers from early spring to early autumn. Each flower has five, free petals, ten stamens and five stigmas. Between the bases of each petal there are nectaries but to get at the nectar reward, insects must have long mouthparts. Herb Robert flowers have an elaborate opening routine. When the flower opens, the stigmas are close together. The five anthers closest to the centre of the flower split open releasing their pollen; the other five stamens bend towards the petals. The stigmas then separate to expose their receptive surfaces, the inner stamens wither and the outer ones move towards the stigmas and open. Anthers are typically pink or purple, the pollen is bright orange. Despite herb Robert flowers being visited by numerous types of insects, seed produc