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      Friday, November 27, 2015

(Erodium cicutarium)

ORIGIN: Europe

HABITAT: Gardens, waste places, summerfallow fields.

DESCRIPTION: Annual or winter annual.

STEMS: Usually a low prostrate plant consisting of a basal rosette and flowering stalks. These stalks are erect, about 50 cm high and originate in the axils of the leaves.

LEAVES: Pinnately divided and somewhat like those of a carrot.

FLOWERS: About 1 cm across, pink or purplish, borne in clusters of two to 12 on long flower stalks. Sepals of the flowers are awn-tipped and hairy. The style column is 2.5 to four cm long, and resembles a stork's bill, hence the common name. At maturity, the style splits into five segments each with a long spirally twisted tail which carries a seed at its base.

SEEDS: About six mm long, club-shaped and brown in color, often covered by a brown hairy hull. Freshly harvested seed has high germination capacity.


New seedlings emerge very quickly after each tillage operation in the summerfallow. Therefore, it is not unusual to have five or six growths of this weed during the summerfallow year.


Fall and spring cultivation of crop land will destroy seedlings from summer and fall-germinated seeds. On lighter soils where excessive fall cultivation is impractical, fall rye can be used as a control measure. Good crop competition from either fall rye or a spring-seeded cereal is an important factor in control.


Control of stork's bill can be achieved by use of 2,4-D or MCPA at 1.4-1.68 L/ha (at 500 g/L formulation) in cereal crops when applied at the seedling stage with 100-165 L of water.

Please refer to Saskatchewan Agriculture's Guide to Crop Protection for current herbicide rates and application recommendations.

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