Sticky Storksbill Erodium glandulosum

👤 Non-toxic to humans
🐾 Non-toxic to pets
🌸 Blooming
🍪 Not edible
‍🌱 Easy-care
black-eyed heron's bill


Erodium glandulosum, commonly known as filaree or heron's bill, is a distinct plant with a rosette of lobed leaves that are typically covered with sticky hairs. These leaves spread out close to the ground and have a feathery appearance due to their deep cuts and serrated edges. The flowers of the filaree are small, with five purple, pink, or lilac petals that are delicate and veined, presenting a subtle beauty. Emerging from the center of these petals, you will notice prominent stamens that often protrude outward, providing an attractive contrast. The most distinctive feature is its beak-like fruit, resembling the bill of a heron, which spirals as it matures and assists in seed dispersal. These elongated fruits contribute to its common name and are one of the key identifying features. The appearance of the plant as a whole is relatively low-lying with a sprawling habit, typically showing a wealth of flowers and fruits during its blooming season.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      Sticky Stork's-bill, Sticky Filaree

    • Common names

      Erodium glandulosum.

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      Erodium glandulosum, commonly known as sticky stork's-bill, is not frequently cited as a toxic plant for humans. There is limited available information on severe poisoning from ingestion of this plant. However, as with many plants, it may cause mild stomach upset if ingested inadvertently. In the absence of significant data, it is always wise to exercise caution and avoid consuming parts of unknown plants due to the potential for unpredictable allergic reactions or gastroenteritis.

    • To pets

      Similar to its effect on humans, sticky stork's-bill is not commonly known to be highly toxic to pets. While there are no specific documented cases of severe toxicity in animals from Erodium glandulosum, ingestion could potentially cause mild gastrointestinal upset, such as vomiting or diarrhea. As with any non-food plant, pets should be discouraged from ingesting sticky stork's-bill, and pet owners should monitor their animals for any signs of ill effects if they consume any part of this plant. If symptoms occur, consulting a veterinarian is recommended.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      1 foot [30 cm]

    • Spread

      1 foot [30 cm]

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area



  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Ecosystem support - Erodium glandulosum provides food and habitat for various insects and small animals, contributing to biodiversity.
    • Soil stability - The root system of this plant helps to prevent soil erosion and maintain terrain integrity.
    • Pollinator attraction - It attracts pollinators like bees and butterflies, aiding in the pollination of various plants, which is essential for healthy ecosystems.
    • Aesthetic appeal - With its flowers, Erodium glandulosum can add visual interest to gardens and natural landscapes.
    • Drought resistance - This species is often adapted to dry conditions, making it a suitable choice for xeriscaping or low-water-use gardens.
    • Wildlife nutrition - Its seeds and foliage can serve as a food source for wildlife, contributing to the food web.

  • medicalMedical Properties

    • Anti-inflammatory: Erodium glandulosum may possess compounds that reduce inflammation.
    • Astringent: The plant has traditionally been used for its astringent properties, which can help contract tissues and reduce secretions.
    • Haemostatic: It is believed to help stop bleeding, making it useful in wound care.
    • Diuretic: Erodium glandulosum might increase urine production, helping in the removal of waste substances from the body.

  • windAir-purifying Qualities

    This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.

  • leavesOther Uses

    • Erodium glandulosum, commonly known as sticky stork's-bill, can be used as a low-maintenance groundcover in xeriscaping due to its drought tolerance.
    • The plant may be included in wildflower mixes to attract pollinators like bees and butterflies to gardens and ecological restoration sites.
    • Its unique fruit, reminiscent of a stork's bill, can provide interesting visual texture in dried floral arrangements.
    • Sticky stork's-bill seeds could be used in educational settings to illustrate the concept of hygroscopic movement as they twist when drying.
    • The leaves of the plant can be used to create natural green dyes for fabrics or art projects.
    • Gardeners sometimes use this plant as a living mulch to suppress weeds and retain soil moisture.
    • Sticky stork's-bill's dense growth can be beneficial for soil stabilization in areas prone to erosion.
    • Its ability to thrive in poor soil makes it a candidate for use in reclaiming disturbed lands such as mines or construction sites.
    • The plant may be utilized in companion planting to enhance biodiversity and create habitats for beneficial insects.
    • For those interested in phenology, the timing of sticky stork's-bill's flowering and seeding can be an indicator of climate patterns in a given region.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    The Erodium glandulosum is not used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    The Erodium glandulosum is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Resilience: Erodium glandulosum, commonly known as Filaree, is a hardy plant that can thrive in various conditions, symbolizing the ability to endure and adapt to life's challenges.
    • Healing: Filaree has been traditionally used for its medicinal properties, making it a symbol of healing and the restoration of health.
    • Time: The spiral-shaped seed pod of Filaree resembles a clock's hands and can be associated with the passage of time and the cycles of nature.
    • Prosperity: As a plant that can easily spread and cover large areas, Filaree may represent growth and abundance in one's endeavors.
    • Connection with nature: Filaree's widespread presence in wild settings stands for a deep bond with the natural world and a reminder of life's simplicity.

Every 1-2 weeks
2500 - 10000 Lux
Every 2 years
Spring-Early Summer
Not needed
  • water dropWater

    Sticky Cranesbill prefers consistent moisture but is adaptable to different watering schedules once established. It's best to water these plants deeply and less frequently to encourage strong root development. In general, about 1 inch of water per week, whether from rainfall or manual watering, is sufficient. During hotter, dryer periods, you may need to increase the frequency to twice a week, ensuring that the water penetrates deeply into the soil. Always check the top inch of soil for moisture; if it feels dry, it's time to water again, using up to 2 gallons per plant depending on size and environmental conditions.

  • sunLight

    Sticky Cranesbill thrives in full sun to part shade conditions. Choosing a spot that receives at least 6 hours of sunlight a day will promote the healthiest growth and flowering. However, in extremely hot climates, some afternoon shade may be beneficial to prevent leaf scorch.

  • thermometerTemperature

    Sticky Cranesbill is hardy and can endure a temperature range from approximately 20°F to 85°F, but it thrives best in temperate climates. The ideal temperature for this plant lies between 60°F and 75°F. It is important to avoid exposure to extreme cold below 20°F to prevent frost damage.

  • scissorsPruning

    Pruning Sticky Cranesbill is mainly for maintaining shape and encouraging healthy growth. Deadhead spent blooms regularly to promote further flowering. Perform a more thorough pruning in late winter or early spring, cutting back the entire plant by about one-third to rejuvenate it and stimulate new flowering growth. Pruning is not a frequent necessity but can be done annually or as needed to control size.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    Filaree prefers well-drained soil with a mix of sand, loam, and compost to ensure good drainage and fertility. The ideal pH range for this plant is between 6.0 and 8.0. A light, airy potting mix with perlite can also be beneficial for container growing.

  • plantRepotting

    Filaree should be repotted every two to three years or when it outgrows its pot to give its root system room to grow and to refresh the soil, which degrades and compacts over time.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Filaree thrives in moderate to low humidity conditions typical of its Mediterranean origin; however, it's adaptable and can tolerate a range of humidity levels as long as the soil drainage is adequate.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Place filaree near a sunny window and ensure good drainage.

    • Outdoor

      Choose a sunny spot with well-draining soil for filaree.

    • Hardiness zone

      5-10 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    Erodium glandulosum, commonly known as Sticky Geranium, begins its life cycle as a seed, typically germinating with the onset of favorable conditions such as moisture and temperature. Upon germination, it develops a taproot and produces a rosette of hairy leaves. The plant grows taller and produces flowering stems with clusters of small, pale pink to purple flowers, each with five petals and distinctive stork's bill seed pods. After pollination, often by insects, these seed pods mature and eventually split open to disseminate the seeds. The seeds can be ejected by the coiling mechanism of the seed pod as it dries, utilizing tension to spread them away from the parent plant. Sticky Geranium may have an annual or biennial life cycle, depending on environmental conditions, dies after seed production, and relies on the next generation of seeds to continue the species.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Spring-Early Summer

    • The most popular method of propagating Erodium glandulosum, commonly known as Sticky Stork's-bill, is through seed sowing. Seed propagation should ideally take place in late winter to early spring to allow for a full growing season. The seeds require well-draining soil, and should be lightly covered with a thin layer of soil, no more than 1/8 inch (approximately 3 mm) deep. They should be kept moist until germination, which typically occurs within 2 to 3 weeks if the temperature is around 70°F (21°C). Once seedlings have developed several true leaves, they can be carefully transplanted to their final growing location, ensuring that they are spaced adequately to allow for mature growth.