Filaree (Erodium cicutarium)

Family: Geraniaceae

Filaree is an exotic annual plant belonging to the Geranium Family, brought into the Southwest by Spanish settlers and now in effect a "naturalized native". The image above (taken in March 2005) is a close-up of a very young plant (note the barrel of a standard ballpoint pen at upper right) with its characteristic leaves and buds. The plant tends to splay out on the ground, with characteristically red stems. (For more information on the dark red "berries" at various points on the plant, stay tuned.) The flowers, shown below, are small (to 1/4" wide), with 5 petals, with a "pinkish violet" color (Epple, cited on main Wildflowers page, p. 127):

These plants, photographed in April 2003, show the characteristic open flower cluster rising above the low-lying leaves:

These two photographs below give better views of the leaves; on the left, a mature plant; on the right, a very new one:

(Click on each image to enlarge it.)

...

In the left-above image, you can see in the upper left a yellow-green, sharp-pointed shaft. This is one of the seeds of the plant, which have lent it another name, "Stork's Bill". Below, a close-up of this long, beak-like seed, which twists into a spiral when dry (Epple, op.cit.).