Jonathan's picture

Herb robert

Observed: 16th May 2009 By: Jonathan
iSpot team
Jonathan’s reputation in PlantsJonathan’s reputation in PlantsJonathan’s reputation in PlantsJonathan’s reputation in Plants
Geranium robertianum
Geranium robertianum2
Species interactions

No interactions present.

Species with which Herb robert (Geranium robertianum) interacts


bobthebirder's picture

herb robert

G.purpureum or Little Robin is often on old railway lines and the flowers are brighter magenta, although both species are variable. I have a photo of it on my site at

Bob Ford

the naturalist man's picture

Herb Robert

Because of the jaunty angle the flower heads are held and the red colour of the flowers this plant is associated with Robin Goodfellow, hence the name (Robin and Robert are interchangeable names in Old English). Also, dare I say it, this being of the cranesbill family, the rather long seedhead was considered reminicent of a certain part of Goodfellow's body. Robin Goodfellow is another name for the Puck of Shakespeare's Midsomer's Nights Dream.

..that shrude and knavish sprite
Call'd Robin Goodfellow; are you not he
That frights the maidens of the villagery;
Skim milk, and sometimes labour in the quern
And bootless make the breathless housewife churn;
And sometime make the drink to bear no barm;
Mislead night wanderers, laughing at their harm?
Those that Hobgoblin call you, and sweet Puck,
You do their work, and they should have good luck.

Such creatures are known as Boggles here in the north and we have many stories about them - usually they are helpful until crossed.

How about that, identification and a spot of culture, you get everything here on iSpot!

Graham Banwell

Visit the iSpot Yorkshire forum for information on events, issues and news relating to 'God's own country'

Martin Harvey's picture


I look forward to your posting an observation of a Boggle next time you see one!

Entomologist and biological recorder