Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Stinking Bob – On the Wall

Photos of Geranium robertianum in Bergamo.Photos of Geranium robertianum in Bergamo.Photos of Geranium robertianum in Bergamo.

Photos of Geranium robertianum in Bergamo.

Stinking Bob is one name for Geranium robertianum and a plant we’ve observed occasionally on the walls of Bergamo. It's not as common as other plants (see list below).

Our first experience with Stinking Bob was in Seattle in our yard. We ripped out a lot of it in our yard in Seattle where it seemed to magically reappear overnight. Half the biomass in our yard was for a time Stinking Bob and it's friend Arum italicum. Stinking Bob is on the non-regulated Class B noxious weed list in King County, which includes Seattle. 

G. robertianum is a common species of Geranium native to Europe, and parts or Asia, North America, and North Africa. Stinking Bob gets around.

G. robertainum goes by many common names and we prefer a conflation of two of them, Stinking Bob and Herb-Robert, to come up with Stinking Robert, in honor of a friend of ours. So why "stinking"? It's because this geranium has a distinct smell when the leaves are crushed or even brushed up against. It is described as displeasing, but we would say displeasing depends on the nose of the beholder.

So here we are a continent away with our old friend except this time we just walking by and not thinking of ripping it out. On Via Ramera in Bergamo to be exact. Hello Stinking Robert, nice to see you again.

A list of our wall plants of Bergamo thus far:

  • Geranium robertianum - Stinking Bob
  • Erigeron karvinskianus (post) - Mexican Fleabane
  • Asplenium ceterach (post) - Rustyback Fern
  • Asplenium ruta-muraria (post) - Wall Rue
  • Asplenium trichomanes (post) - Maidenhair spleenwort
  • Parietaria diffusa (post) - Pellitory
  • Cymbalaria muralis (post) - Pennywort

Photos of Geranium robertianum in Bergamo.

A photo of Geranium robertianum in Bergamo.

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