Botanical Survey of India | Flora of India

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Erodium L 'Her. ex Aiton

Herbs, rarely undershrubs with branches swollen or jointed at nodes. Leaves opposite, often alternate, lobed or pinnatisect, stipulate. Flowers usually regular, in axillary 1 - 2-flowered or umbelliferous peduncles. Sepals 5, alternate with 5 staminodes. Ovary 5-lobed, 5-locular, long-beaked in fruit; styles 5. Capsules 5-lobed, 5-locular; locules 1-seeded. Carpels indehiscent, separating septicidally from axis, their beaks elastically coiling upwards from base to apex of axis, hairy on inner surface. Mericarps usually with 2 apical pits; seeds non-endospermous.

About 90 species in Europe, Mediterranean region, C. & S.W. Asia, Australia and tropical S. America; 5 in India.


1a. Beak of mericarps plumose on ventral face with long soft cilia 3. Erodium oxyrrhynchum
b. Beak of mericarps ventrally clothed with rigid setae that disappear towards tip 2
2a. Leaves velvety beneath; sepals not awned; mericarps not pitted below beak 5. Erodium tibetanum
b. Leaves not velvety beneath, shortly pubescent; sepals awned or mucronate; mericarp. pitted below beak 3
3a. Sepals awned; filaments toothed on one side 4. Erodium stephanianum
b. Sepals mucronate; filaments glabrous, not toothed 4
4a. Most of the leaflets divided less than half-way to midnerve; apical pits of mericarps glandular 2. Erodium moschatum
b. Most of the leaflets divided less than half-way to mid-nerve; apical pits of mericarps eglandular 1. Erodium cicutarium

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