Erodium cicutarium (L.) L'Her. - Common crowfoot.

Systematic position.

Family Geraniaceae Juss., genus Erodium L'Her.


Common (hemlock) storksbill, Redstem filaree, Alfilaria

Biological group.

Annual germiniparous weed.

Morphology and biology.

Stem is prostrate or ascending, 10-50 cm in length, covered with simple abludent (deflected), partially glandular hairs. Cotyledons are trilobate, with asymmetrical, triangular or quadrangular lateral lobes; petioles are 8-10 mm in length, covered with small whitish bristly hairs. Leaves are odd-pinnatisect, elongate, long-petiolate, pubescent; bottom leaves forming decumbent rosette. Peduncles are 1-2.5 cm in length, sepals are 4-5 mm, pointed at tip, glandular-pubescent. Petals are purple or rose-purple, 4-6 mm in length. Boll is divided into 5 segments (mericarps). Mericarps are spindle-shaped, with pointed lower apex and half-spiral twisted "awn". Flowering period is May-September, fruiting period is June-October. The maximal fruitfulness of one plant is 5700 mericarps. Shoots emerge from a depth of not more than 4-6 cm.


Temperate regions of Europe, the Mediterranean area, the Balkans, Asia Minor, Iran, Afghanistan, India, the Himalaya, Korea, Japan, China. Adventive in North America and Australia. European part of the former USSR, Central Asia, the Caucasus, Western and Eastern Siberia, the Far East.


Grows on dry, neutral or slightly acid loamy soils. Shoots emerge at the minimum temperature 3-4°C, optimum 19-22°C.

Economic significance.

Infests grain and tilled crops, flax, occurs in kitchen gardens, orchards, vineyards, fallow lands, along field margins, roadways, waste lands. Control measures include removing the stubble in early autumn followed with plowing, cultivation at spring, chemical weeding.

Reference citations:

Agaev M.G., ed. 1988. Main agricultural weeds in crops of the Leningrad Region. In: The catalogue of world collection of VIR, Issue 468. Leningrad: VIR. 58-60 pp. (In Russian)
Anonymous. 1996. Weeds on sugar beet. Berlin: Hoehst Schering AgrEvo GmbH. 242 pp. (In German, English, Russian, Ukrainian)
Melnichuk O.S., Kovalivska G.M. 1972. Atlas of the most widespread weeds of the Ukraine. Kiev: Urozhay. 27-28 p. (In Ukrainian)
Nikitin V.V. 1983. Weed plants of the USSR flora. Leningrad: Nauka. 249 p. (In Russian)
Shishkin, B.K. & E.G. Bobrov, eds. 1949. Flora of the USSR. Moscow-Leningrad: AN SSSR. V. 14: 71-72. (In Russian)

© T.D. Sokolova.


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