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Mediterranean stork's bill

Erodium malacoides

Description:

Another very common plant found close to the sea. It is is a weedy annual or biennial herb. The young plant grows a number of ruffled green leaves radially outward flat against the ground from a knobby central stem. The stem may eventually reach half a meter in height with more leaves on long, hairy petioles. It bears small flowers with fuzzy, soft spine-tipped sepals and five lavender to magenta petals. The filaree fruit is green with a glandular body about half a centimeter long and a long, pointed style two to three centimeters in length. This weird coloration is usually happening with all plants growing in proximity of the sea in the winter.

Habitat:

It is native to much of Eurasia and North Africa but can be found on most continents where it is an introduced species.

1 Species ID Suggestions

Mediterranean stork's bill
Erodium malacoides Erodium malacoides


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15 Comments

Bernadette S
Bernadette S 7 years ago

@Despina - Makes sense! Thanks for sharing your pics of the other species. I'll have to upload some shots of the ones we find here.

Just uploaded both species, I remembered I had a couple of pics in my personal blog, as part of a traditional recipe :)

injica
injica 7 years ago

OK, but we can always wait for another season, I will remind you! :)

I'm afraid both species are off season, but I think I have some old pics, so I'll upload the plants very soon :)

injica
injica 7 years ago

Despina, now that you mentioned so many species I expect you to make some photos :) I would be very interesting to compare them!

Dear @Bernadette S, no, the Erodium Crasifolium is protected here, and is not collected, eaten or whatever, it's very rare. But the Erodium malacoides and the Erodium cicutarium, they're abundant and edible...

Bernadette S
Bernadette S 7 years ago

@injica, yes, it's true, best to find the elders for traditional knowledge! I'll have to ask around. One of my local Bedouin friends already thinks I'm crazy because I will munch on edible plants that they consider only good for "goat food".
@Despina, Interesting. Is that species also eaten in Greece?

Dear @Bernadette S, in Greece there is Erodium Crasifolium in Crete island and in few inhabited islets around it, so it's absent from the rest of Greece. It's protected by the Greek law, since it is considered as one of the very rare grasses in Greece...

injica
injica 7 years ago

Well if goats are alive maybe is worth trying :P Just kidding, when I wan't to find out sth. like this I always try to find some old people, that is the biggest source of traditional knowledge! :) And if you find out it don't forget to share the photos, it could be an interesting story :)

Bernadette S
Bernadette S 7 years ago

We have several different Erodium species here in Sinai but only one species that I have read about people eating the root of, E. crassifolium. All are grazed by the local goats and sheep, but now I'm curious if the leaves are edible!

injica
injica 7 years ago

Oh that for sure, I am an expert in collecting just 4 different mushrooms and I don't ever try to risk with others, and so I am with some sprouts that I was taught by my granny (for example my parents were never taught and they don't know what to pick), always rather buy it from someone that has more experience to risk it myself :) Pies sound lovely, we don't make any pies :( but I love Balkan cuisine :), this plant are usually used and prepared like spinach either just fully of just partially boiled... maybe with few potatoes.

In Greece we use different herbs for pies and stews, and different ones for raw and boiled salads...I like herbs, but it's essential to be able to recognise the edible ones, because some plants look very similar, and some of them they're poisonous...Herbs its an honnest and good food source, but should be used wisely...

injica
injica 7 years ago

Actually it was spotted right next to erodium :) We have something that old ladies are selling on the green market that is called just herbs, it is a mixture of all the edible plants that are growing in the area (predominately dandelion but all kind of plants) so I suppose we eat them as well but in this mixture!

In Greece we eat it along with other edible erodium species, usualy in herb pies...

injica
injica 7 years ago

Thank you very much!!! :)

injica
Spotted by
injica

Croatia

Spotted on Feb 22, 2012
Submitted on Apr 7, 2013

Spotted for Mission

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Reference