Information on Little-Robin

Common Name: Little-Robin
Scientific Name: Geranium purpureum
Irish Name: Eireaball rĂ­
Family Group: Geraniaceae
Distribution: View Map (Courtesy of the BSBI)
Flowering Period

Click for list of all flowering by month
Little-Robin could sometimes be confused with:

Herb-Robert, Crane's-bill, Shining,

Bearing more than a passing resemblance to Herb-Robert, Little-Robin is a very rare species which is only found occasionally growing in the South and South-east. It has flowers which are smaller than those of Herb-Robert, measuring only 7-12 mm across. Apart from the difference in size, the main distinction between the two species is that the anthers are yellow in Little-Robin whereas they are orange in Herb-Robert. It bears stiff, alternate leaves which are deeply lobed and similar in shape to those of Herb-Robert. It is a much-branch annual, reaching about 15-20cm high, and blooms between May and September. The fruits – which are also similar to those of Herb-Robert – are more wrinkled in this species. Little-Robin grows in rocky, stony places, grassland, disused railway lines and on shingle beaches. It is a native plant and it belongs to the Geraniaceae family.

My first – and only - record of this species is from June 2014 when I saw and photographed it growing near Campile, Co Wexford. I had been told where I might find it by Paul Green, BSBI Vice-County Recorder for Waterford and Wexford. Many thanks, Paul, as ever. 

If you are satisfied you have correctly identified this plant, please submit your sighting to the National Biodiversity Data Centre

This species is classed as NEAR THREATENED in the Red Data List of Vascular Plants 2016.

Strangely enough, this little plant species is almost considered a pest in the Channel Islands where it grows in abundance.