This section is from the book "The Standard Cyclopedia Of Horticulture Vol2", by L. H. Bailey. See also: Western Garden Book: More than 8,000 Plants - The Right Plants for Your Climate - Tips from Western Garden Experts.
(Greek, a heron; alluding to the beaked fruit). Geraniaceae. Heron's-Bill or Stork's-Bill. Annual and perennial, some of the perennials grown in flower-gardens and with alpines for their finely cut foliage and mostly purplish or white flowers.
The plants suggest the wild and hardy geraniums, from which they differ in having only 5 instead of 10 anther-bearing stamens, the other 5 being reduced to scales; also the tails of the carpels hairy inside and twisting spirally. Herbs, rarely somewhat woody or tufted: leaves opposite or alternate, one often smaller than its mate, stipuled, toothed, lobed, or dissected: flowers regular or nearly so, mostly in umbels, of various shades, from crimson-pink to purple, with darker blotches on the 2 upper petals and the venation outlined in darker shades; sepals 5, imbricate; ovary 5-lobed, when ripe splitting into separate caps. - lobes, each lobe 1-seeded: plants usually heavy-scented. - The latest monograph (Knuth, in Engler's Pflanzen-reich, hft. 53, 1912) describes 60 species, widely dispersed in temperate and' warm regions. The self-planting of the seeds or carpels of some species is very interesting.
These plants are chiefly for the front row of the hardy borders and the rock-garden, where they thrive in a gritty loam. They like dry, sunny spots, and may be trusted with a conspicuous position, being chiefly valued for their steady succession of bloom from June to August. Divided plants are chiefly sold here, but the species are easily propagated by seeds. Some erodiums can be grown in chinks of walls. Some of the annual kinds are widely spread in California and other parts of the West, and E. cicutarium and two or three others are grown for forage. The garden species have not attained much prominence in this country.
A. Plant annual (or biennial).
1. cicutarium, L'Her. Alfilaria. Alfilerilla. Pin-Clover. Tufted, low and spreading, more or less glandular, often with coarse, soft, short hairs: leaves oblong, 1-2-pinnate; lfts, small, nearly sessile, the uppermost confluent, lower ones sharply and deeply cut and with narrower lobes: stipules small, acute: sepals with 1 or 2 terminal bristles; filaments not toothed; flowers rose-purple. Abundantly run wild from the Rocky Mts. to the Pacific, on dry or barren lands, and also grown for hay and utilized as wild pasture. Feb. - Apr. Old World; immensely variable.
2. moschatum, L'Her. Filaree. Musk-Clover. Also Alfilerilla. Glandular and musk-scented, at first stemless and with a rosette on the ground but later sending up stout fleshy stems to, 1 ft.: lfts, large, short-stalked, ovate to elliptical, serrate, broad-lobed: stipules large, rather obtuse: sepals not terminated by bristles; filaments 2-toothed; flowers rose-purple. Medit., Orient. Run wild in Calif, in the rich valley lands.
3. Botrys, Bertol. Branching from the base and usually prostrate, white-pubescent: If -blades 1-2 in. long on petioles of similar or twice the length, oblong-ovate, pinnatifid, the lobes acute and serrate: sepals with 1 or 2 short bristles; flowers deep violet; filaments widened upward and toothed. Medit. region, now widely spread in Calif, and also grown for forage.
aa. Plant -perennial. b. Flowers yellow.
4. chrysanthum, L'Her. Woody, 1-5 in. tall, silvery, the rhizome vertical: leaves densely crowded at base, petiole and blade of equal length, broadly ovate, obtuse or nearly so, pinnate, the pinnae cut; stem - leaves few or none, subsessile: peduncles sometimes basal; flowers yellow, the petals exceeding sepals, broadly cuneate and retuse. Greece. Gt. 1, p. 260.
bb. Flowers white, sometimes veined or spotted.
5. guttatum, Willd. Woody, 3-6 in., the caudex vertical: leaves many at base of stem, long-petioled, ovate-cordate or long-cordate, obscurely lobed, crenulate: peduncle 2-5 in. high; flowers clear white with a dark spot at base of upper petals; sepals lance-spatulate or obo-vate-spatulate; petals broadly obovate, rounded. S. W. Medit. region; a good little rock plant. Gt. 3, p. 244.
6. pelargoniflorum, Boiss. & Heldr. Woody, to 1 ft. or more, the caudex vertical: basal leaves rather numerous, long-petioled, hairy above, ovate-cordate, somewhat lobed, obtusely crenate-dentate: peduncles 1-5 in. high; flowers white, the 2 upper petals spotted with pink at base; sepals ovate; petals broadly obovate, rounded or retuse. Asia Minor. B.M. 5206. Gt. 1:194. Gn. 59, p. 448; 63, p. 107.
7. supracanum, L'Her. Stemless, 1-4 in. tall, the rhizome vertical: leaves numerous, to about 2 in. long, densely silky-canescent above, green beneath, ovate or oblong, bipinnatisect, the pinnules entire or dentate or incised: flowers white, spotless, red-veined, the petals obovate and rounded, and sepals broadly ovate and 5-nerved. Pyrenees.
8. chamaedryoides, L'Her. (E. Reichardii, DC.). Stemless, 2-3 in. tall: leaves numerous, long-stalked, sparsely hairy, round-ovate, slightly cordate, crenate, apex rounded: peduncles about 1-flowered, about 2 in. tall; flowers white, rose-veined; sepals ovate-spatulate or lance-spatulate, minutely mucronate; petals obovate, retuse. Balearic Isls., Corsica. - An attractive alpine.
bbb. Flowers rose, red or purple (sometimes white in No. 14). c. Leaves undivided or obscurely lobed.
9. corsicum, Lem. stem 2-6 in. high, the root vertical or oblique: basal leaves many, long-petioled, grayish tomentose or becoming glabrous, ovate or broader, more or less obsoletely lobed, coarsely crenate-dentate: peduncle 1-2 in. high, about 2-flowered; flowers 3/4in. across, in shades of rosy pink veined deeper color; sepals oblong-spatulate or ovate, not mucronate; petals broadly obovate or cuneate. Corsica and Sardinia. G.C. III. 48:210.
cc. Leaves all pinnatisect.
D. stem wanting.
10. macradenum, L'Her. (E. graveolens, Lapeyr. E. glandulosum, Willd.). Remarkable for the great length of the roots when twisting among rocks, and strong odor of the foliage: 2-6 in.: leaves hairy, glandular, 1 1/2-2 in. long, oblong, pinnate; segments pinnatifid, rachis with a toothed wing: flowers light purple, the 2 upper petals a shade darker, and the spots nearly black. Pyrenees. B.M. 5665.
11. daucoides, Boiss. Plant 2-4 in., the rhizome vertical: leaves many, tomentose, petiole exceeding blade, lanceolate or triangular in outline, the pinnae pinnatisect and the lobes linear-lanceolate: peduncles standing above the foliage, about 4-flowered; flowers rose-color; sepals more or less ovate, 5-nerved; petals obovate, somewhat rounded. Spain.
12. Manescavi, Coss. Height 10-18 in., the rhizome vertical or oblique: leaves attaining 6 and more in. long,
2 1/2 in. wide, lanceolate or ovate-lanceolate; segments alternate ovate, short-stalked, dentate, with sometimes a deeper cut: flowers at best 2 in. across, strong rosy purple, the spots of the upper petals only a shade or two darker. Pyrenees. Gn. 55:292. - Colors stronger and more uniform than No. 10.
dd. stem evident.
13. Guicciardii, Heldr. Woody, to 8 in. tall, from a more or less vertical rhizome: basal leaves many, densely clustered, petiole equaling the blade (upper stem - leaves sessile), silvery, broadly ovate or oblong-ovate, pinnate; pinnae cut into linear or oblong-linear lobes: peduncle 1-3 in. tall, 4-7-flowered; flowers rose-colored; sepals ovate, obtuse and mucronate; petals obovate, rounded. N. Greece.
14. absinthioides, Willd. (E. petraeum, Sibth. & Smith. E. olympicum, Clem. E. Sibthorpianum, Kotschy). Two to 8 in. tall: rhizome vertical: leaves many, crowded at base of stem, the petioles very short (stem - leaves few and sessile), soft-hairy, oblong or triangular-ovate, obtuse or acutish, bipinnatisect; lobes linear-lanceolate, entire or dentate: peduncle 1-4 in., 2-8-flowered; flowers violet or rose (rarely white), the sepals ovate, obtuse and mucronate, the petals cuneate-obovate. Asia Minor.
E. gruinum, L'Her. Annual or biennial, 1 1/2 ft. high, the stems 1 or few, white-hairy: leaves cordate-ovate, undivided or obscurely lobed, dentate: flowers violet-blue, large, the petals broadly obovate and clawed, rounded at apex. Sicily to Persia, N. Africa - E. Stephani-anum, Willd. _ Annual or biennial, villous, branched: leaves nearly glabrous, bipinnatifid, the lobes linear: peduncles 2-3 in. high, 2-5-flowered; flowers dark purple; petals scarcely surpassing sepals, very broad-ovate. Temp. Asia. L H B †