Herb Robert
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Herb Robert
ative Photo: Dinesh Valke
Common name: Herb Robert, bloodwort, cranesbill, felonwort, fox geranium, red robin
Botanical name: Geranium robertianum    Family: Geraniaceae (Geranium family)
Synonyms: Geranium graveolens, Geranium lindleyanum, Geranium palmatisectum

Herb-Robert is a widespread sprawling herb, about 2 ft tall, well-known for its strong disagreeable mousy smell and its cheerful bright pink flowers. This odour is referred to by the common names stinking Robert and stinky Bob. In folklore it is the plant belonging to the mischievous house goblin Robin Goodfellow (the name Robin is a diminutive of Robert). This leafy plant is generally hairy, with bright green finely divided leaves and reddish-tinged stems. Leaves trisect, 30-40 x 30-75 mm, 3-5-angled; segments pinnately parted, lobed; lobules blunt, with a short sharp point, sparsely hairy; leaf-stalk 1.8-44 cm long. Flower-cluster-stalks are 2-flowered, glandular or hairy. Sepal cup is somewhat swollen like a bladder. Sepals are 5-7 mm long, ovate or oblong-ovate, hairy-glandular, awn about 2 mm long. Petals are about twice as long as sepals, 3-nerved, reddish-pink, obovate, tapering towards the base. Herb Robert is found in Europe, C. Asia, Siberia, east to China, Japan and America, and the Himalayas at altitudes of 900-3300 m. Flowering: May-July.

Identification credit: Dinesh Valke Photographed in Valley of Flowers & Dhanaulti, Uttarakhand.

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