T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network


Erodium cicutarium (Storkbill)

Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Geraniales
Family: Geraniaceae
Genus: Erodium
Species: E. cicutarium
Binomial name: Erodium cicutarium
Common name: Storkbill, Redstem filaree, Common Stork's-bill

Erodium cicutarium, is an invasive hairy, sticky herbaceous annual, and in warm areas a biennial member of the Geranium Family of flowering plants. It is native to the Mediterranean.  
The plant is widespread across New Zealand in bare, sandy, grassy places the drier coastal lowlands.
The stems bear bright pink flowers (12-14mm), arranged in loose cluster, and often have dark spots on the bases. The leaves are pinnate and fern-like, and the long seed-pod, shaped very much like the bill of a stork, bursts open in a spiral when ripe, sending the seeds (which have little feathery parachutes attached) into the air. The hairy stems can be prostrate or erect.
Seed launch is accomplished using a spring mechanism powered by shape changes as the fruits dry. The spiral shape of the awn can unwind during daily changes in humidity, leading to self-burial of the seeds once they are on the ground. The two tasks (springy launch and self-burial) are accomplished with the same tissue (the awn), which is hygroscopically active and warps upon wetting and also gives rise to the draggy hairs on the awn.








The underside of a leaf,



The long beak like capsules (4mm)


A young plant growing in very dry conditions.


Thanks to Wikipedia for text and information: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/