Monday, May 31, 2010

Redstem Filaree or Storksbill

Redstem Filaree,
also known as storksbill, redstem stork's bill and coastal heron's bill (Erodium cicutarium)
is native to the Mediterranean Basin and was introduced to North America in the 18th century where it is now invasive, particularly in the deserts and grasslands of the southwestern United States. It is a hairy, sticky annual. The stem has bright pink flowers that often have dark spots on the bases.
The leaves are pinnate and fern-like.
It also has a long seed-pod, shaped like the bill of a stork,
which bursts open in a spiral when rip, sending the seeds with feathery parachutes into the air. The entire plant is edible with a flavor similar to sharp parsley if picked young. It is found throughout California and virtually throughout the United States, except for Mississippia and Florida. I've only seen it once one the bajada south of the Eagle Mountains. It is very small.

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