More than Just "Out of Place"
The old adage is "a weed is just a plant out of place," but there's often more to it. A new plant may enhance its new home by supplying nectar for bees or berries for birds. We don't call it a weed unless we discover it doing some sort of damage. Herb Robert (Geranium robertianum) is just that kind of plant. Common (and well-behaved) in the upper Midwest, this weed has taken root in the disturbed areas of Northwest forests. It can be seen along logging roads and in deeply shaded glens. Once there, it begins to crowd out native species. Its ability to scatter its seeds up to 20 feet away gives it a real advantage in the forest floor. A diversity of plants helps keep an ecosystem healthy, and this thug is upsetting the balance.