Erodium cicutarium “Stork’s Bill” Geraniaceae

Missoula, MT
April 23, 2015
Robert Niese

Erodium is famous for its fascinating dispersal mechanism. Their fruits are shaped like a stork’s bill (hence the common name) and separate into five seeds with a wirey tip upon maturity. As the seeds dry out, they begin to curl up into a corkscrew-like shape. If they are resting on soil as they begin to dry, this curling process will drive them into the ground. You can watch this self-planting mechanism here or check out the GIF below. It’s really freaking awesome!

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