STICKY STORK'S-BILL

Erodium aethiopicum

(Formerly: Erodium lebelii)
Crane's-bill (Geranium) Family [Geraniaceae]

month8apr month8april month8may month8jun month8june month8jul month8july month8aug month8sep month8sept

status
statusZnative
flower
flower8lilac
inner
inner8yellow
morph
morph8actino
petals
petalsZ5
stem
stem8round
rarity
rarityZscarce
sex
sexZbisexual

30th June 2018, West Kirby, The Wirral, North West England. Photo: © RWD
The flower petals, being pale pink to white, are paler than those of Common Stork's-bill. The flower stalks amd sepals are densely covered in glandular hairs (whereas the hairs on Common Stork's-bill are less dense, and can be either glandular or just plain [eglandular] hairs).


30th June 2018, West Kirby, The Wirral, North West England. Photo: © RWD
It grows shorter than the up to 60cm height of Common Stork's-bill reaching just 15cm (rarely 25cm) high. Has 5 pale pale pink petals, with 5 white filaments with cream coloured anthers and a central white style which splays out to 5 stigmas in the centre. The sepals have a thin white translucent border.


30th June 2018, West Kirby, The Wirral, North West England. Photo: © RWD


30th June 2018, West Kirby, The Wirral, North West England. Photo: © RWD
The leaves are perhaps indistinguishable from those of Common Stork's-bill but they are sticky to the touch. Sand grains stick to them (but this is NOT an ID characteristic; sand grains are usually all over the leaves of Common Stork's-bill too)!


30th June 2018, West Kirby, The Wirral, North West England. Photo: © RWD
The fruit, when fawn and therefore ripe, have beaks less ≤2.2cm (whereas those of Common Stork's-bill are between 1.5 to 4cm long - but that is not much help in ID'ing, there is an overlap!). Still, if you find any with beaks less than 1.5cm, then it must be Sticky Storksbill... maybe. The only true way to ID them is to look for a feature which defies description with a magnifying lens at the fruits themselves where the pit at the apex is.


30th June 2018, West Kirby, The Wirral, North West England. Photo: © RWD


30th June 2018, West Kirby, The Wirral, North West England. Photo: © RWD


30th June 2018, West Kirby, The Wirral, North West England. Photo: © RWD
The densely populated hairs with glands on their tips occupy flower stalks and sepal teeth.


30th June 2018, West Kirby, The Wirral, North West England. Photo: © RWD


30th June 2018, West Kirby, The Wirral, North West England. Photo: © RWD
The sticky surface of the leaves (which are more greyish green than the leaves of Common Stork's-bill). Feel the stickiness of the leaves rather than rely on the presence or absence of sand grains, which can just get trapped by curled hairs on the non-sticky Common Stork's-bill.


Not to be confused with : Sticky Mouse-Ear (Cerastium glomeratum), Sticky Phacelia (Phacelia viscida), Sticky Clary (Salvia glutinosa), Sticky Groundsel (Senecio viscosus), Sticky Catchfly (Silene viscaria), [plants with similar names from differing families]

Easily mistaken for : Common Stork's-bill (Erodium cicutarium) - see captions for differences

It is a rare [RR] and it occurs only near the coastline. Mostly on the west coast of the British Isles. It grows in barish places and on stable old sand dunes.


  Erodium aethiopicum  ⇐ Global Aspect ⇒ Geraniaceae  

Distribution
 family8Cranesbill (Geranium) family8Geraniaceae
 BSBI maps
genus8Erodium
Erodium
(Stork's-bills)

STICKY STORK'S-BILL

Erodium aethiopicum

(Formerly: Erodium lebelii)
Crane's-bill (Geranium) Family [Geraniaceae]

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