Herb Robert

Herb Robert (Geranium)

Scientific name: Geranium robertianum

Common names: Herb Robert, stinky Bob

Description: A native of Europe, Asia, and Africa, herb Robert is a low-growing (up to a foot) annual with sharply incised leaves and pink flowers (flower color can sometimes range from white to magenta). Before flowering, it can be mistaken for the native bleeding heart (Dicentra formosa). Leaf color ranges from green to red and its stems are red with white hairs. When the plant is crushed, it gives off a stinky odor, which gave rise to one of its common names: stinky Bob. Herb robert is extremely adaptable, and is thus able to thrive in both sunny, disturbed sites and shady, undisturbed areas.

Impact: Herb Robert is able to rapidly invade relatively undisturbed and pristine forest areas, making it problematic for native understory species. It releases chemicals that discourage the growth of other plants and can form monocultures on the forest floor, displacing native diversity. This ability to dominate the forest floor is problematic for the many wildlife species that depend upon diverse food and shelter sources in forest habitats. Herb Robert can eject sticky seeds up to 20 feet which are able to persist in the seed bank for up to five years.

Source: KingCounty.gov

For more information, please visit the Noxious Weed resources at KingCounty.gov: http://www.kingcounty.gov/services/environment/animals-and-plants/noxious-weeds/weed-identification/herb-robert.aspx