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Red-stemmed Fillaree

Erodium cicutarium

Illustration by Prof. Dr. Otto Wilhelm Thomé

Original book source: Prof. Dr. Otto Wilhelm Thomé Flora von Deutschland, Österreich und der Schweiz 1885, Gera, Germany. This illustration is available at Wikimedia.

Photo © by Mike Plagens

This plant has an infection of Synchytrium papillatum of the fungus order Chytridiales. The bright cranberry stain is readily shed onto hands or shoes. Spring 2005 at Lookout Mountain in Maricopa Co., Arizona. Full resolution image of Synchytrium.

ANNUAL: Abundant winter-spring annual at roadsides, vacant lots, desert flats, rocky slopes and along washes. Mostly grows low to soil and rarely taller than 30 cm .

FRUIT: Five long-beaked achenes joined to a base. On maturity the long beak twists into a corkscrew of sorts that winds and unwinds on exposure to moisture serving to plant the seed inside. Another common name for this plant is Stork's Bill alluding to the fruit.

LEAVES: Leaves are finely dissected and are aromatic when crushed releasing typical geranium odor. Leaves change reddish-orange during cold weather.

RANGE: Frequent throughout the Sonoran Desert in Arizona and Mexico. Native to Eurasia and now widely distributed around world.

FLOWERS: Pink, five-petaled flowers apparent mostly Jan. thru May.

UNARMED. The seed tips are a bit sharp, however.

Geraniaceae -- Geranium Family

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Copyright Michael J. Plagens, 1999-2009