Plant Assessment Form

Erodium cicutarium

Common Names: redstem filaree; redstem stork's bill; filaree

Evaluated on: 2/1/05

List committee review date: 08/07/2005

Re-evaluation date:


Elizabeth Brusati, project manager
California Invasive Plant Council
1442A Walnut St. #462, Berkeley, CA 94709
Joseph DiTomaso
University of California-Davis
Dept. Plant Sci., Mail Stop 4, Davis, CA 95616

List commitee members

Joe DiTomaso
Joanna Clines
Cynthia Roye
Doug Johnson

General Comments

In grasslands, E. botrys, E. brachycarpum, and E. cicutarium all coexist and behave similarly.

Table 2. Criteria, Section, and Overall Scores

Overall Score? Limited
Alert Status? No Alert
Documentation? 3 out of 5
Score Documentation
1.1 ?Impact on abiotic ecosystem processes D Observational
Four-part score DCDD Total Score
1.2 ?Impact on plant community C. Minor Reviewed Scientific Publication
1.3 ?Impact on higher trophic levels D. Negligible Reviewed Scientific Publication
1.4 ?Impact on genetic integrity D. None Other Published Material
2.1 ?Role of anthropogenic and natural disturbance in establishment C. Minor Reviewed Scientific Publication
Total Points
10 Total Score C
2.2 ?Local rate of spread with no management C. Stable Observational
2.3 ?Recent trend in total area infested within state C. Stable Observational
2.4 ?Innate reproductive potential
(see Worksheet A)
B. Moderate Other Published Material
2.5 ?Potential for human-caused dispersal B. Moderate Other Published Material
2.6 ? Potential for natural long-distance dispersal B. Occasional Other Published Material
2.7 ?Other regions invaded C. Already invaded Reviewed Scientific Publication
3.1 ?Ecological amplitude/Range
(see Worksheet C)
A. Widespread Reviewed Scientific Publication
Total Score A
3.2 ?Distribution/Peak frequency
(see Worksheet C)
A. High Observational

Table 3. Documentation

Scores are explained in the "Criteria for Categorizing Invasive Non-Native Plants that Threaten Wildlands".

Section 1: Impact
Question 1.1 Impact on abiotic ecosystem processes? D Observational
Identify ecosystem processes impacted:

Do not appear to have significant impact on abiotic processes.

Sources of information:

DiTomaso, observational

Question 1.2 Impact on plant community composition,
structure, and interactions?
C Reviewed Scientific Publication
Identify type of impact or alteration:

May be able to outcompete native species. Forms large basal rosettes of leaves that can kill nearby plants (1), but this generally only occurs after disturbance, such as fire and they are quickly outcompeted within a year or two of fire.

Sources of information:

1. Coomes, D. A., M. Rees, P. J. Grubb, and L. Turnbull. 2002. Are differences in seed mass among species important in structuring plant communities? Evidence from analyses of spatial and temporal variation in dune-annual populations. Oikos 96(3): 421-432.

Kyser and DiTomaso, 2002. Weed Science

Question 1.3 Impact on higher trophic levels? D Reviewed Scientific Publication
Identify type of impact or alteration:

Forms a mutualistic relationship with endangered kangaroo rats, which eat the seeds (1, 2). Also eaten by desert tortoises (3). Good forage for wildlife although when they form a dominant stand after fire then can reduce annual grasses and limit late season forage. I could not find specific descriptions of negative impacts. 1. Schiffman, P. M. 1994. Promotion of exotic weed establishment by endangered giant kangaroo rats (Dipodomys ingens) in a California grassland. Biodiversity & Conservation 3(6): 524-537.
2. Inouye, R. S. 1981. Interactions among Unrelated Species Granivorous Rodents a Parasitic Fungus and a Shared Prey Species. Oecologia 49(3): 425-427.
2. Hazard, L. C., D. R. Shemanski, and K. A. Nagy. 2000. Digestibility of native and exotic food plants eaten by juvenile desert tortoises. American Zoologist 40(6): 1050. (abstract)

Sources of information:

Question 1.4 Impact on genetic integrity? D Other Published Material

No information available on hybridization, but there are two native Erodium species in California: E. macrophyllum on the south and central coast and the Channel Islands, and E. texanum on the southern coast and desert. Doubtful if these species hybridize. No record of any Erodium species hybridizing.

Sources of information:

Hickman, J. C. (ed.) 1993. The Jepson Manual, Higher Plants of California. University of California Press. Berkeley, CA

Section 2: Invasiveness
Question 2.1 Role of anthropogenic and natural disturbance
in establishment?
C Observational
Describe role of disturbance:

Needs natural or anthropogenic disturbance for establishment. Coverage of Erodium was significantly greater within the disturbed areas of kangaroo rat territories than in the less-disturbed spaces between territories (1). Erodium declined in woodlands but increased in grasslands as grazing intensified (2). Biomass increased with nitrogen addition in the Mojave Desert (3). In British dune, grazing by rabbits reduces perennials and allows establishment of annuals such as Erodium (4). Found mainly in disturbed sites (see 3.1).

Sources of information:

1. Schiffman 1994
2. Rosiere, R. E. 1987. An Evaluation of Grazing Intensity Influences on California USA Annual Range. Journal of Range Management 40(2): 160-165.
3. Brooks, M. L. 2003. Effects of increased soil nitrogen on the dominance of alien annual plants in the Mojave Desert. Journal of Applied Ecology 40(2): 344-353
4. Coomes et al. 2002.

Question 2.2 Local rate of spread with no management? C Observational
Describe rate of spread:

Can fluctuate up and down, but over all remains static.

Sources of information:

DiTomaso, observational.

Question 2.3 Recent trend in total area infested within state? C Observational
Describe trend:

Widely distributed and has been in the state for many years.

Sources of information:

DiTomaso, observational.

Question 2.4 Innate reproductive potential? B Other Published Material
Describe key reproductive characteristics:

Summer or winter annual.
In Canada, emerged within 7-13 d of planting. Flowering occurred within 46-65 d of planting. Plants that emerged in late summer did not flower that season and survived as winter annuals. Seed production ranged from 2400-9900 seeds/plant (1). Seeds are impermeable at maturity but become permeable with dry storage and began to germinate immediately when placed upon moist substrate after five years' storage (2). Able to grow well even with water stress (3). DiTomaso and Healy. 2006. Weeds of California. UC DANR Publ. #3488.

Sources of information:

Question 2.5 Potential for human-caused dispersal? B Other Published Material
Identify dispersal mechanisms:

Can be dispersed by clinging to shoes and clothes of people, tire, and agricultural or maintenance equipment (1).

Sources of information:

1. DiTomaso, J., and E. Healy. in prep. Weeds of California and Other Western States.

Question 2.6 Potential for natural long-distance dispersal? B Other Published Material
Identify dispersal mechanisms:

Mericarps dispserse by water, soil movement, and especially by clinging to the fur, feathers, or feet of animals (1). Most seed fall to soil surface.

Sources of information:

1. DiTomaso and Healy in prep

Question 2.7 Other regions invaded? C Reviewed Scientific Publication
Identify other regions:

Native to Europe or the Mediterranean. Present in nearly every US state (1). Present in southern Africa (2). Present in rangeland of the semi-arid Caldenal region of Argentina (3).

Sources of information:

1. USDA, NRCS. 2004. The PLANTS Database, Version 3.5 ( National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70874-4490 USA.
2. Venter, H. J. T. and R. L. Verhoeven. 1990. The Genus Erodium in Southern Africa. South African Journal of Botany 56(1): 79-92.
3. Pelaez et al. 1995

Section 3: Distribution
Question 3.1 Ecological amplitude/Range? A Reviewed Scientific Publication

Present in most California counties (1). May have invaded from Baja California before the first California mission was established in 1769; i.e. disturbance by cattle grazing was not responsible for its establishment (2). Present in woodland and grassland (3), and desert dunes (4). Found on roadsides, pastures, fields, grasslands, rangelands, waste places, and other open disturbed sites throughout California to 2000m (5).

Sources of information:

1. USDA 2004
2. Mensing S., and R. Byrne. 1998. Pre-mission Invasion of Erodium cicutarium in California. Journal of Biogeography 25: 757-762
3. Rosiere, R. E. 1987. An Evaluation of Grazing Intensity Influences on California USA Annual Range. Journal of Range Management 40(2): 160-165
4. Brooks 2003
5. DiTomaso and Healy in prep.

Question 3.2 Distribution/Peak frequency? A Observational
Describe distribution:

Very common in valley and foothill grasslands.

Sources of information:

DiTomaso, observational.

Worksheet A - Innate reproductive potential

Reaches reproductive maturity in 2 years or less Yes
Dense infestations produce >1,000 viable seed per square meter Yes
Populations of this species produce seeds every year. Yes
Seed production sustained over 3 or more months within a population annually No
Seeds remain viable in soil for three or more years No
Viable seed produced with both self-pollination and cross-pollination Unknown
Has quickly spreading vegetative structures (rhizomes, roots, etc.) that may root at nodes No
Fragments easily and fragments can become established elsewhere No
Resprouts readily when cut, grazed, or burned No
Total points: 4
Total unknowns: 1
Total score: B?

Related traits:

Worksheet B - Arizona Ecological Types is not included here

Worksheet C - California Ecological Types

(sensu Holland 1986)
Major Ecological Types Minor Ecological Types Code?
Marine Systemsmarine systems
Freshwater and Estuarine lakes, ponds, reservoirs
Aquatic Systemsrivers, streams, canals
desertD, < 5%
Scrub and Chaparralcoastal bluff scrub
coastal scrub
Sonoran desert scrub
Mojavean desert scrub (incl. Joshua tree woodland)
Great Basin scrub
chenopod scrub
montane dwarf scrub
Upper Sonoran subshrub scrub
chaparralC, 5% - 20%
Grasslands, Vernal Pools, Meadows, and other Herb Communitiescoastal prairieB, 20% - 50%
valley and foothill grasslandA, > 50%
Great Basin grasslandC, 5% - 20%
vernal pool
meadow and seep
alkali playa
pebble plain
Bog and Marshbog and fen
marsh and swamp
Riparian and Bottomland habitatriparian forest
riparian woodland
riparian scrub (incl.desert washes)
Woodlandcismontane woodlandB, 20% - 50%
piñon and juniper woodland
Sonoran thorn woodland
Forestbroadleaved upland forest
North Coast coniferous forest
closed cone coniferous forest
lower montane coniferous forestC, 5% - 20%
upper montane coniferous forest
subalpine coniferous forest
Alpine Habitatsalpine boulder and rock field
alpine dwarf scrub
Amplitude (breadth): A
Distribution (highest score): A

Infested Jepson Regions

Click here for a map of Jepson regions

  • CA Floristic Province
  • Cascade Range
  • Central West
  • Great Valley
  • Northwest
  • Sierra Nevada
  • Southwest
  • Great Basin Province
  • Modoc Plateau
  • Sierra Nevada East
  • Desert Province
  • Mojave Desert
  • Sonoran Desert