Seeds of South Australia
Erodium aureum (Geraniaceae)
Golden Heron's-bill
List of species for Erodium
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Seed collecting:
August to November
Herbarium regions:
North Western, Lake Eyre, Nullarbor, Gairdner-Torrens, Flinders Ranges, Eastern, Eyre Peninsula, Murray
NRM regions:
Alinytjara Wilurara, Eyre Peninsula, South Australian Arid Lands, South Australian Murray-Darling Basin
AVH map:
Australian distribution map (external link)
SA Census:
Census of South Australian plants (external link)     [genus Erodium]
Name derivation:
Erodium from the Greek 'erodios' meaning heron; alluding to the fruit resembling the head and beak of this bird. Aureum from the Greek 'aureus' meaning golden; possibly referring to the golden hairs on the mericarps.
Found in the northern part of South Australia, growing in a variety of vegetation and soil types. Also found in Western Australia, Northern Territory, Queensland and New South Wales.
Native. Common in South Australia. Common in the other states.
Plant description:
Dwarf annual or short-lived herb to 20 cm tall, stems with soft hairs. Leaves basal and opposite each other, basal leaves to 35 mm long and 15 mm wide, flat, sticky, hairy, lobed and toothed. Flowers pink to mauve or bluish-purple, with 5 petals in clusters of 2-5 flowers on stalks arising from the bases of the leaves. Flowering between May and September.
Fruit type:
Long brown capsule to 4 cm long.
Seed collecting:
Collect matured capsules, those that are turning brown and have exposed brown seeds
Seed cleaning:
Place the capsules in a tray and leave to dry fro 1 to 2 weeks. If only seeds collected, no further cleaning is required. If other material is collected, use a sieve to separate unwanted material. Store the seeds with a desiccant such as dried silica beads or dry rice, in an air tight container in a cool and dry place
Seed germination:
This species has physical dormancy that needs to be overcome for the seed to germinate (e.g. nicking or softening the seed coat).