Have you ever stopped to wonder why Herb-Robert (Geranium robertianum) is so called? No? It must be just me then! I wonder who Robert was that he should justify having a flower named after him? I am not aware of a Herb-Peter or a Herb-John ... although there is a Herb-Bennett and a Herb-Paris. Anyway, I did some research for these notes and I am still none the wiser; I am destined to wonder about Robert for a while yet.
If the Robert or robertianum part of the name is a mystery the geranium certainly is not. Herb-Robert is undoubtedly a member of the geranium family which are also known as stork's-bills or crane's-bills. Once the flowers disappear the seed box swells and the long pointed style remains and what is left looks like a stork's bill and this is, of course, true of any member of the geranium family.
It is a really common flower in woodlands, and along shady hedgerows, flowering from late spring right the way through in to the autumn. It can be found right across Dorset and, indeed, much of Britain and western Europe. At some point it was introduced into the USA and now In the state of Washington it is known as Stinky Bob and classified as a noxious weed!
Next time I see a plant I must crush a leaf, it apparently smells of burning tyres giving rise to the Stinky Bob label. It is also believed to be a remedy for toothache and nosebleeds.