Stem. - Forking, slightly hairy. Leaves. - Three, divided, the divisions again dissected. Flowers. - Purple-pink, small. Calyx. - Of five sepals. Corolla. - Of five petals. Stamens. - Ten. Pistil. - One, with five styles which split apart in fruit.
Plate LXIX. Herb Robert. - G. Robertianum
From June until October many of our shaded woods and glens are abundantly decorated by the bright blossoms of the herb Robert. The reddish stalks of the plant have won it the name of "red -shanks" in the Scotch Highlands. Its strong scent is caused by a resinous secretion which exists in several of the geraniums. In some species this resin is so abundant that the stems will burn like torches, yielding a powerful and pleasant perfume. The common name is said to have been given the plant on account of its supposed virtue in a disease which was known as "Robert's plague," after Robert, Duke of Normandy. In some of the early writers it is alluded to as the "holy herb of Robert."
In fruit the styles of this plant split apart with an elasticity which serves to project the seeds to a distance, it is said, of twenty-five feet.