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Help me identify this plant, please. - Stork's Bill

 
Posts: 23
Location: Portland, OR
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Hi, when I first started gardening, I would just tear out all the weeds in my garden and replant each year with seeds or starts from the store, but now I am starting to let certain things reseed themselves, which means I have to be able to tell what to pull out and what to keep. I'm familiar with most of the weeds in my garden, but I'm really not sure about this one.
Any help would be great, thanks!
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Location: Coastal Southern California
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Genus, Erodium, common name, Stork's bill. Geranium family.
 
Kyle Emory
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Rue Barbie wrote:Genus, Erodium, common name, Stork's bill. Geranium family.



Thanks! Along with having interesting looking flowers, wikipedia says it is edible and a good pollinator, I guess I will keep it around when it's not in the way.
 
Rue Barbie
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It's a common weed here too. It's downside is that the seeds have sharpish points and can work their way into your socks when dry.

A more interesting aspect is that the seeds are self-planting and can literally screw themselves into the ground.

(Of secondary note in this short video is the teaming life on the soil surface.)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TOJG5mF6OLs&ebc=ANyPxKop8i_IDjq0d9rl3Ud8DxhEl8CF36Qt6UTGVMRMUGkcSIsyW6xmIEVJpMgthunu61urO8NdQ-VxorK-aeikC1DEdbR0cQ
 
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From plants for the future

Young leaves - raw or cooked as a potherb[2, 62, 84, 85, 183]. Harvested in the spring before the plant flowers[257], they are tasty and nutritious[207]. The leaves are added to salads, sandwiches, soups etc[9], they can be used in recipes that call for leaves of beet, plantain, sow thistle or amaranth[183]. Young stems - raw[257]. Root - chewed by children as a gum[257].



It also talks about the medicinal uses. Very interesting plant.

This is neat too... It can be used as a dye, indicating weather, and preserving seeds.
 
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Just a bit for everyone because everyone got it, here is additional information. Out here in California, we call it Whitestem Filaree, http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/PMG/WEEDS/whitestem_filaree.html
As children, we used our finger nail, made a slot on one seed, and put another seed through the slot, creating scissors: we played with our Filaree "scissors." The dried seeds do burrow into the coats of animals. If a dog or animal was wiggly and uncomfortable, we checked for Filaree, and if we couldn't work it out with our fingers, often had to cut it out.
 
Kyle Emory
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That's a lot of intriguing information about just one random volunteer in my garden. The massive amount of information that is shared on a daily basis on this site is a big reason why I'm constantly lurking around here. Thanks again!
 
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