COMMON STORKSBILL

Erodium cicutarium

Cranesbill (Geranium) Family [Geraniaceae]

month8apr month8april month8may month8jun month8june month8jul month8july month8aug month8sep month8sept

status
statusZnative
flower
flower8bicolour
flower
flower8mauve
inner
inner8orange
inner
inner8indigo
morph
morph8hemizygo
petals
petalsZ5
stem
stem8round

26th Aug 2004, Llandidno, North Wales. Photo: © RWD
Unlike Sticky Storksbill which grows on coastal dunes, Common Storksbill grows on dry grassy and sandy places, especially near the sea. A sprawling mass, to 60cm high.


5th July 2007, Lytham St. Annes, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
Unlike Sticky Storksbill the leaves are not sticky thus sand grains do not adhere to it. Also, the stork's bills are longer here (bottom right).


14th June 2011, Southport dunes, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
Unlike Sticky Storksbill where only 2-4 flowers are in a cluster, Common storksbill manages 3-7. Here there are 5, so, ipso facto, it isn't sticky. Leaves very fine, almost fern-like.


14th June 2011, Southport dunes, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
Five pink-purple almost elliptical petals (Sticky Storksbill's petals are paler, more lilac). Anthers without pollen are an indigo colour.


23rd April 2011, Southport dunes, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
Flowers between 10 and 18mm across (Sticky Storksbill's flowers are smaller at 7-10mm across). It is frequently mentioned that two of the upper petals of some flowers have a black spot near the base. Here one flower has four, the other two, but many have none at all. This makes the flower not actinomorphic, but hemi-zygomorphic, or slightly bi-laterally symmetric. Pollen, when present, is a dark orange colour.


31st May 2007, Walney Island, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
True to type, these two specimens have dark spots near the base of the upper two petals. Deep orange pollen.


23rd April 2011, Southport dunes, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
Unusual deep orange pollen on the five stamens. Dark spots on two petals appear speckled in character. [Spring Beauty lurks behind].


31st May 2007, Walney Island, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
The stork's bills, when ripe, bend backwards into a S-shape. Sepals striped. Stems tend to redden un-like those of Sticky Storksbill.


14th June 2011, Southport dunes, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
Red-tipped sepals with supple spikes.


14th June 2011, Southport dunes, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
Leaves 2-pinnate and fern-like, but small.


31st May 2007, Walney Island, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
The leaves are deeply cut into leaflets. Tips of the leaflets tend to redden, and have a hair at the tip. Leaves have a smattering of fine non-sticky hairs, as do the stems.


Easily mistaken for : Sticky Storksbill but that is shorter and has sticky hairs to which sand-grains tend to stick, amongst many other differences mentioned in the captions above.

Flower (alone) looks similar to: Rock Sea-Spurrey, another similarly coloured 5-petalled flower that grows near the sea, but gets rather closer to the sea than does Common Storksbill. The leaves are totally different.

Hybridises with : Sticky Storksbill (Erodium lebelii) to produce Erodium × anaristatum which is sterile and lacks the stork's bills, and the flowers tend to be absent.

No relation to : Sticky Mouse-ear, Sticky Catchfly nor to Sticky Groundsel [plants with similar names].

Habitat includes dry grassy and sandy places, especially on alkaline soils and near the sea.


  Erodium cicutarium  ⇐ Global Aspect ⇒ Geraniaceae  

Distribution
 family8Cranesbill (Geranium) family8Geraniaceae

 BSBI maps
genus8Erodium
Erodium
(Storksbills)

COMMON STORKSBILL

Erodium cicutarium

Cranesbill (Geranium) Family [Geraniaceae]

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