Wednesday, June 2, 2010

The "Herb Robert" Flower

Geranium robertianum, (syn. Robertiella robertiana) commonly known as Herb Robert, Red Robin, or (in North America) Robert Geranium, is a common species of cranesbill in Europe, Asia, North America, and North Africa. It can grow at altitudes of up to 1,500 metres (4,921 ft). It grows as an annual or biennial plant, producing small, pink, five-petalled flowers (about 1 cm in diameter) from April until the autumn. The leaves are fern-like, and the stems often reddish; the leaves too turn red at the end of the flowering season. The plant has little root structure.

It should not be confused with Photinia x fraseri "Red Robin", which in Great Britain is commonly found in hedgerows. It has been introduced into other temperate parts of the world, probably through its use as a garden plant; for example, in the San Francisco Bay Area in California. In the state of Washington, it is known as Stinky Bob and classified as a noxious weed.(WSNWCB 2005, p. 8)(WSNWCB 2007)

In traditional herbalism, Herb Robert is used as a remedy for toothache and nosebleeds. An infusion made from the whole plant, minus the root, has been used for its diuretic and tonic effect and as a remedy for dysentery. It is also used on wounds for healing and to prevent scarring, having both an antiseptic and a styptic effect. Freshly picked leaves have an odor resembling burning tires when crushed, and if they are rubbed on the body the smell is said to repel mosquitoes.

The active ingredients are tannins, bitters, and essential oils.


See also: Florist Paris, Vietnam Flower, India Flower

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