Flowers form in clusters at the top of a main stem. Red-stemmed filaree has the most finely dissected leaves of all the local species.  UCI Ecological Preserve, Irvine, CA. 2-27-09. © Joan Avise

Red-stemmed filaree

Erodium cicutarium

The most widespread and one of the earliest plant introductions into California.  It was found in adobe bricks of Mission San Antonio Padua and several others from 1771.  It was introduced as forage for livestock.  The California harvester ant (Pogonomyrmex anzensis) frequently collects Erodium seeds which germinate in dense rings around their nest entry in spring.  At maturity the slender beak-shaped fruits burst open, splitting into five spiral-shaped parts which are propelled into the air. The style, with attached seeds, winds and unwinds with changes in humidity, thus burying the seeds in the ground.

Geraniaceae

Back to Geraniaceae of Orange County, California
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Long beak-like fruit; Aliso and Wood Canyons Wilderness Park, Laguna Niguel, CA. 4-05-08. © Joan Avise

Caspers Wilderness Park, San Juan Capistrano, Orange Co., CA. 5-13-2006. © Joan Avise

UCI Ecological Preserve, Irvine, CA. 2-27-09. © Joan Avise

Finely dissected fernlike leaves form a basal rosette; San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary, Irvine, CA.2-24-07. © Joan Avise

The zoospores of a parasitic fungus form red pustules on the plant leaves, only of this species. They burst on contact, releasing a red liquid. Limestone Canyon Wilderness Park, Irvine, CA. 2-5-12. © Peter J. Bryant
 


W of Portola Pkwy and El Toro Rd, Foothill Ranch, 8-27-13. © Ron Vanderhoff


W of Portola Pkwy and El Toro Rd, Foothill Ranch, 8-27-13. © Ron Vanderhoff

Erodium moschatum L, cicutarium R, San Onofre Station, San Onofre State Beach, 2-5-15. © Ron Vanderhoff.

Erodium moschatum L, cicutarium R, San Onofre Station, San Onofre State Beach, 2-5-15. © Ron Vanderhoff.

Erodium moschatum L, cicutarium R, San Onofre Station, San Onofre State Beach, 2-5-15. © Ron Vanderhoff.