Erodium cicutarium (L.) L'Hér. ex Aiton, 1789
Common names: Redstem filaree, Common Stork's-bill [En], Bec-de-grue à feuilles de ciguë, Érodium à feuilles de ciguë [Fr], Reigersbek [Nl], Reiherkraut [De], Aguja de pastor, Aguja de vaquero [Es], Ερωδιός ο Κωνιόμορφος, Ερωδιός ο κωνειοειδής , Μοσκολάχανο, Βελανίδα [Gr], Turnagagası, Dönbabaotu [Tu]
Pezi, IKARIA ● Greece
Description:, Herbaceous annual or biennial in warm climates.
It is a hairy, sticky annual. The stems bear bright pink flowers, arranged in loose cluster, and often have dark spots on the bases. The leaves are pinnate and fern-like, and the long seed-pod, shaped very much like the bill of a stork, bursts open in a spiral when ripe, sending the seeds (which have little feathery parachutes attached) into the air.
Biology: Seed launch is accomplished using a spring mechanism powered by shape changes as the fruits dry. The spiral shape of the awn can unwind during daily changes in humidity, leading to self-burial of the seeds once they are on the ground. You can see it on this video. The two tasks (springy launch and self-burial) are accomplished with the same tissue (the awn), which is hygroscopically active and warps upon wetting and also gives rise to the draggy hairs on the awn.
Habitat: Various, steppes, pastures, hillsides, stony places, roadsides and waste grounds.
Distribution: It is native to the Mediterranean Basin and was introduced to North America in the eighteenth century. It is also naturalised in South America, in Central Africa, Australia, Tasmania and New Zeeland.
Uses: The entire plant is edible with a flavor similar to sharp parsley if picked young.
The whole plant is astringent and haemostatic. It has been used in the treatment of uterine and other bleeding. The root and leaves have been eaten by nursing mothers to increase the flow of milk. Externally, the plant has been used as a wash on animal bites, skin infections etc.
Wikipedia, Erodium cicutarium
Plants For A Future