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GERANIUM robertianum

Image of Geranium robertianum

Jesse Saylor

Family

Geraniaceae

Botanical Name

GERANIUM robertianum

Plant Common Name

Death-Comes-Quickly, Herb Robert

Special Notice

This entry has yet to be reviewed and approved by L2G editors.

General Description

Ornately lobed lush green leaves and small pink-toned flowers are the assets of herb Robert cranesbill. This clumping herbaceous biennial or annual is native to the highland meadows of central Chile. It produces lots of seeds and perpetuates itself once established in a landscape. Depending on climate, it may be semi-evergreen or germinate and grow during a frost-free, moist winter.

Borne on upright stems from spring to midsummer, the cup-shaped flowers are usually held in pairs. Each is hairy and has five petals that are pink to magenta-pink with white streaks. The beak-like seedpod characteristic of Geranium form afer pollination and are scattered nearby by the wind. The feather-like, hairy leaves are deeply dissected and lobed, not typical of other cranesbills in outline and are carried upon wine red stems. Crush the leaf or stem and a chemical-like, unique odor is emitted. In autumn this foliage becomes reddened.

Grow herb Robert in partial sun to nearly full shade and moist soils with good drainage. This species is tolerant of slightly alkaline soils and very light droughts. As it reseeds easily and is short-lived, many may consider it just a weed with pretty foliage. Use this annual in the mixed border, roadside verges, meadows, or in masses as a frilly, loose groundcover.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    9 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    3 - 9

  • Sunset Zone

    A2, A3, 1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Biennial

  • Sun Exposure

    Partial Sun, Partial Shade, Full Shade

  • Height

    10"-12" / 25.4cm - 30.5cm

  • Width

    12"-14" / 30.5cm - 35.6cm

  • Bloom Time

    Spring, Late Spring, Early Summer, Summer

  • Native To

    Chile

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage

    Average

  • Soil type

    Loam, Sand

  • Growth Rate

    Very Fast

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Clump-Forming

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    Pink, Magenta, Rose

  • Fruit Color

    Tan

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green, Light Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Red, Green, Dark Red

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    Yes

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    Yes

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    Yes

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Foliage Texture

    Fine

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    Semi-Evergreen

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Bedding Plant, Mixed Border, Wildflower

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Attracts

    Butterflies

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes