20 AprStalking The Wild Erodium

Spotted in the desert behind a gas station in Kingman, AZ
Spotted in the desert behind a gas station in Kingman, AZ

Travelling through Kingman, AZ on Friday we stopped at a gas station. I spotted this low, green plant growing in the desert next to the parking lot. It had darling little pink flowers with five petals. A closer look revealed the storksbill seed pods. I was on it like Steve Irwin on a crocodile! What a thrill it was to meet a member of the Geraneaceae family “in the wild”! You better believe I collected seeds, too!

After some searching on the internet, I now believe this to be Redstem Filaree: Erodium cicutarium. It is a widespread weed in California, directly across the river from Kingman. Apparently it is very adaptable and will establish itself in all kinds of habitats. In fact, my first experience with this plant was on the playground at my elementary school, where we would pick the seedpods and squeeze the stem end to see the seeds shoot out on their little springs. My mother recalls making little scissors with the pods as a little girl.

Tentatively identified as Erodium cicutarium, aka Redstem Filaree
Tentatively identified as Erodium cicutarium, aka Redstem Filaree

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