An Illustrated Guide to ARIZONA WEEDS

The University of Arizona Press

REDSTEM FILAREE, filaree, alfilaree, alfilaria

Illustration

GERANIUM FAMILY-Geraniaceae

REDSTEM FILAREE-Erodium cicutarium (L.) L'Her.

DESCRIPTION-A dark green annual, winter annual, or biennial which repro- duces by seeds only. The many branched stems may be erect, spreading, or prostrate with the tips ascending, 1/4 to 2 feet long, often covering areas 2 to 3 feet or more in diameter. The leaves at first form a rosette close to the ground, and are alternate, hairy, and 1/2 to 4 inches long. They are divided into 3 to 7 or more pairs of stalkless leaflets, which are further divided into many fine segments.

The flowers are in an umbrellalike cluster at the end of long slender stalks arising from the leaf axils. The 5 rose purple petals are 1/4 inch or less long, and drop off very quickly. The unusual long needlelike fruits split into 5 one-seeded fruits at maturity. One seed is enclosed in each of these single, spindleshaped, very hard fruits. The fruit is about 1/5 inch long, with a very sharp pointed base, and ends in a slender wiry beak 1 to 1 3/4 inches long. These "tails" are tightly twisted and corkscrewlike when dry, but uncoil when wet, and can drive the seed into the hardest soil.

DISTRIBUTION-Redstem filaree is native to Europe, and probably was introduced by the Spaniards. It is common in moist soil and a nuisance, particularly in winter lawns, also in flower beds, yards, gardens, fields, and roadsides below 5,000 feet elevation from February to May. Common in the same type of places from April to October at the higher elevations, about 5,000 to 7,500 feet.

It is abundant throughout the state on plains, mesas, and slopes; 100 to 7,000 feet elevation; flowering February to July or to October at elevations to 8,500 feet or higher. Because of its abundance and high forage value, redstem filaree is a very important plant on many Arizona ranges during a short period in the spring.

Copyright (c) 1972 The Arizona Board of Regents



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