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Storks Bill (Erodium cicutarium)

Crop Impacts: Alfalfa, field peas, beans and potatoes



About Stork’s Bill:

Stork’s Bill is an annual or biennial herb which grows from a sparsely branched taproot. This weed originated from Europe and is drought tolerant. During dryer season, Stork’s Bill can drastically reduce crop yield if not managed correctly.

Family: Geranium Family (Geraniaceae)


Stork’s Bill Scouting and Prevention:

Stork’s Bill can vary in height from 2 to 20 inches tall, is hairy, and usually grows out of basal rosette and flowering stalks, which grows out of the ails of the leaves. The leaves sit opposite of one another, are narrowly triangular with each leaflet being finely lobed. The flowers on a Stork’s Bill are about 10mm wide, with 5 pink or purplish petals that sometimes are covered in dark spots at the base. It has 5 sepals that are shorter than the 5 pestles, and also have 10 stamens, without anthers. The seeds are about 6 mm long, hairy, brown in colour and club-shaped. Typically this weed flowers from June to September.

Common locations

  • - Fields
  • - Gardens
  • - Sandy soil
  • - Turf
  • - Alfalfa
  • - Fields peas


Prevention of Stork’s Bill is less expensive and less time-consuming than trying to control it. Make sure when you are seeding a new area you are doing so with certified weed-free seeds. If there is an infested area on your property, be sure to drive around, instead of through it. Finally, make sure to give all equipment that has been in infested fields a good clean, to make sure no seeds are transferred.

Stork’s Bill Control:

Cultural Control

There are some good cultural control methods for Stork’s Bill, starting with spring and fall cultivation in crop fields, which will destroy the seedlings that have grown in summer and fall germination. Applying fall rye can also be used as a control method. Good crop compensation from spring-seeded cereals or fall rye can create an environment that can fight against Stork’s Bill.

Chemical Control

Stork’s Bill needs to be treated as early as possible due to the fact that it quickly advances through its growth stages. Effective control of Stork’s Bill can be achieved by MCPA or 2,4-D applied at 500 g/L formulation.

Latin / Alternative Stork’s Bill names:

  • - Erodium cicutarium
  • - Common Stork’s-bill
  • - Redstem filaree
  • - Redstem Stork’s bill

Additional Stork’s Bill Resources