Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Alfilaria, Red-stemmed Filaree, Pin Clover, Pin Grass, Wild Musk, Common Storksbill
Erodium cicutarium

Family: Geraniaceae (jer-ay-nee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Erodium (er-OH-dee-um) (Info)
Species: cicutarium (kik-u-tar-ee-um) (Info)

» View all varieties of Hardy Geraniums

One member has or wants this plant for trade.


6-12 in. (15-30 cm)
12-18 in. (30-45 cm)

6-9 in. (15-22 cm)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun
Sun to Partial Shade
Light Shade

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:
Pale Pink

Bloom Time:
Late Winter/Early Spring
Mid Spring
Late Spring/Early Summer

Unknown - Tell us

Other details:
May be a noxious weed or invasive

Soil pH requirements:
Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
Unknown - Tell us

Seed Collecting:
Unknown - Tell us

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There are a total of 27 photos.
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3 positives
1 neutral
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive texasflora_com On Mar 24, 2009, texasflora_com from De Leon, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

This plant is extremely invasive in my area. It grows in lawns, ditches, around buildings, in cracks in concrete slabs, you name it. But since it's entirely edible, I still view it positively. Smiln32 said it had a strong pungent smell but I've handled it and even tasted it and it's not strong at all but a very faint smell. To me, the root has a very slight carrot flavor. Not bitter at all, at least in March. The leaves have a sort of sharp parsley flavor.

Positive Sherlock_Holmes On Jun 18, 2008, Sherlock_Holmes from Millersburg, PA (Zone 6a) wrote:

I am not currently growing this plant, but I have gathered a large number of seeds for it. I plan to grow it in the future. Here is info I have on its edibility.

"Edible Wild Plants of Eastern North America" by Fernald & Kinsey has this to say about Alfilaria, also known as Storksbill:

"The Storksbill is an occasional weed around towns and especially in the neighborhood of woolen-mills, whence its seeds have been brought from the Southwest entangled in wool. The plant is extensively naturalized in the southwestern states and several writers say that the young foliage is eaten raw or cooked by the Indians. In our Southwest it is raised as an important winter-forage under the name Alfileria."

"Edible Wild Plants: A North American Field Guide" by Elias & Dykeman has this to say:

"Harvest: Gather young, overwintered leaves in early spring when other wild foods are scarce. Be certain leafstalks are hairy.

Preparation: Chop leaves for salad with other greens. Boil leaves in lightly salted water until tender, about 10 - 20 minutes. Serve with butter, lemon juice, and herbs.

Poisonous look-alikes: Leaves resemble those of the parsley family including Poison Hemlock. Picking only hairy-stemmed leaves very early in spring should help you avoid errors. Be sure of identification!"

Positive bgrumbin On Mar 4, 2008, bgrumbin from Barstow, CA (Zone 9a) wrote:

one of the most common ground cover plants in the Great American Desert, I have been delighting in its tiny blooms for many years now and was pleased to find that the most numerous ground cover on my recently purchased land was in fact this pretty plant

Neutral smiln32 On Dec 4, 2004, smiln32 from Oklahoma City, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:

This plant is also called Heron bill Filaree. It is native to the U.S. It produces blooms profusely for many weeks in the spring. The finely divided, fern-like leaves and deep roots have a strong pungent smell.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Oracle, Arizona
Phoenix, Arizona
Barstow, California
San Diego, California
Ellendale, Delaware
Hawthorne, Nevada
Las Cruces, New Mexico
Millersburg, Pennsylvania
De Leon, Texas
Hereford, Texas
Spokane, Washington

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