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Common Herons Bill

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Scientific Name:Erodium cicutarium
Photo: Common Herons Bill
Photograph courtesy of
Viridans Biological Databases (external link)

Common Name:

Common Crowfoot, Small Crowfoot, Storksbill, Redstem Filaree, Alfilaree, Alfilaria, Common Storksbill

General Description:

Annual or biennial forb, with prostrate, ascending or erect stems to 40 cm long, the whole plant shortly hairy.

Leaves to 5.5 cm long, with stalks to 4 cm long, each leaf deeply divided into segments which are again deeply
lobed or toothed.

Flowers pink or white, with 5 spreading
obovate petals, born in umbels of 2 – 5 in the leaf axils, each flower on a stalk 9 – 22 mm long, the common stalk 4 – 8 cm long, the stalks and the calyx hairy to almost hairless.

Fruit a tapering beak, 3 – 4.5 cm long, splitting into 5 pointed fruitless ‘seeds’ when ripe, each fruitlet surmounted by a spirally coiled awn which is hairy on the inner side.

Flowering spring


On a wide range of soils and in most vegetation communities.

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