Stork's-bill

©Northeast Wildlife

Stork's-bill

Scientific name: Erodium cicutarium
The bill-shaped seed pods of Common Stork's-bill explode when ripe, sending the seeds flying! This low-growing plant has pretty pink flowers and can be seen on grasslands and coastal sands.

Species information

Statistics

Height: up to 25cm

Conservation status

Common.

When to see

May to August

About

Common Stork's-bill is hairy plant of dry grasslands, and bare and sandy areas, both inland and around the coast. Its bright pink flowers appear in May and last through the summer until August. The resulting seed pods are shaped like a crane's bill (hence the name) and explode when ripe, sending the seeds, with their feathery 'parachutes', flying.

How to identify

Common Stork's-bill is a sprawling plant, with finely divided, hairy leaves and clusters of pink, five-petalled flowers. It has long, bill-like seed pods.

Distribution

Occurs in various places across the UK, but most common in southern England.

Did you know?

Common Stork's-bill is one of the foodplants of the caterpillars of the Brown Argus butterfly.

How people can help

The Wildlife Trusts manage many coastal nature reserves for the benefit of the wildlife they support. You can help by supporting your local Trust and becoming a member; you'll find out about exciting wildlife news, events on your doorstep and volunteering opportunities, and will be helping local wildlife along the way.