Heron's Bill

Erodium texanum

leaves of Texas Filaree, Erodium texanum, © by Michael Plagens

Observed in the Ajo Mountains of southern Arizona in Pima County, April 2010 when few flowers had yet opened.

FRUIT: Usually five distinct segments each containing a single-seed develop from one flower and have a long, tapering styles. This structure is the basis for the common name, heron's bill.

ANNUAL: Mat forming annual of mid to late spring. Size and robustness dependant on winter-spring rainfall. Occasionally surviving year to year in protected spots at higher elevations.

RANGE: Fairly common at mid to upper elevations and occasionally in lowest desert areas. Found from California east to Texas and into Mexico.

FLOWERS: Five, pink petals on flowers usually less than 1cm in diameter. Several flowers in an umbel arrangement.

LEAVES: Triangular to heart-shaped with one or three broad lobes and additional shallow, rounded lobes along margins. Prominent, reddish veins and distinct geranium odor when crushed.

UNARMED. Thornless.

fruit resemble a heron bill, of Texas Filaree, Erodium texanum, © by Michael Plagens

Geraniaceae -- Geranium Family

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More Information:

Sonoran Desert Field Guide
Sonoran Desert Places
Sonoran Desert Naturalist Home Page


Copyright Michael J. Plagens, pag created 22 Nov. 2010,
updated 27 July 2015.