Erodium cicutarium - (L.) L'Her. ex Ait.
Pin Clover
Other English Common Names: Crane's-bill, Cranesbill, Cutleaf Filaree, Redstem Stork's-bill, Storksbill
Other Common Names: redstem stork's bill
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Erodium cicutarium (L.) L'Hér. ex Ait. (TSN 29147)
French Common Names: érodium cicutaire
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.160470
Element Code: PDGER01040
Informal Taxonomy: Plants, Vascular - Flowering Plants - Geranium Family
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Plantae Anthophyta Dicotyledoneae Geraniales Geraniaceae Erodium
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Concept Reference
Concept Reference: Kartesz, J.T. 1994. A synonymized checklist of the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. 2nd edition. 2 vols. Timber Press, Portland, OR.
Concept Reference Code: B94KAR01HQUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Erodium cicutarium
Taxonomic Comments: Native to the Mediterranean region (Wagner et al., Flora of Hawaii, 1990).
Conservation Status

NatureServe Status

Global Status: GNR
Global Status Last Changed: 20Nov1996
Rounded Global Status: GNR - Not Yet Ranked
Nation: United States
National Status: NNA
Nation: Canada
National Status: NNA (09Mar2012)

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
United States Alabama (SNA), Alaska (SNA), Arizona (SNA), Arkansas (SNA), California (SNA), Colorado (SNA), Connecticut (SNA), Delaware (SNA), District of Columbia (SNA), Georgia (SNR), Hawaii (SNA), Idaho (SNA), Illinois (SNA), Indiana (SNA), Iowa (SNA), Kansas (SNA), Kentucky (SNA), Louisiana (SNA), Maine (SNA), Maryland (SNA), Massachusetts (SNR), Michigan (SNA), Minnesota (SNA), Missouri (SNA), Montana (SNA), Nebraska (SNA), Nevada (SNA), New Hampshire (SNA), New Jersey (SNA), New Mexico (SNA), New York (SNA), North Carolina (SNA), North Dakota (SNA), Ohio (SNA), Oklahoma (SNA), Oregon (SNA), Pennsylvania (SNA), Rhode Island (SNA), South Carolina (SNA), South Dakota (SNA), Tennessee (SNA), Texas (SNA), Utah (SNA), Vermont (SNA), Virginia (SNA), Washington (SNA), West Virginia (SNA), Wyoming (SNA)
Canada Alberta (SNA), British Columbia (SNR), Manitoba (SNA), New Brunswick (SNA), Nova Scotia (SNA), Ontario (SNA), Prince Edward Island (SNA), Quebec (SNA), Saskatchewan (SNA)

Other Statuses

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

U.S. States and Canadian Provinces
Color legend for Distribution Map
NOTE: The distribution shown may be incomplete, particularly for some rapidly spreading exotic species.

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States AKexotic, ALexotic, ARexotic, AZexotic, CAexotic, COexotic, CTexotic, DCexotic, DEexotic, GA, HIexotic, IAexotic, IDexotic, ILexotic, INexotic, KSexotic, KYexotic, LAexotic, MA, MDexotic, MEexotic, MIexotic, MNexotic, MOexotic, MTexotic, NCexotic, NDexotic, NEexotic, NHexotic, NJexotic, NMexotic, NVexotic, NYexotic, OHexotic, OKexotic, ORexotic, PAexotic, RIexotic, SCexotic, SDexotic, TNexotic, TXexotic, UTexotic, VAexotic, VTexotic, WAexotic, WVexotic, WYexotic
Canada ABexotic, BC, MBexotic, NBexotic, NSexotic, ONexotic, PEexotic, QCexotic, SKexotic

Range Map
No map available.

Ecology & Life History Not yet assessed
Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
Management Summary Not yet assessed
Population/Occurrence Delineation Not yet assessed
Population/Occurrence Viability
U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank)
Disclaimer: While I-Rank information is available over NatureServe Explorer, NatureServe is not actively developing or maintaining these data. Species with I-RANKs do not represent a random sample of species exotic in the United States; available assessments may be biased toward those species with higher-than-average impact.

I-Rank: Medium/Low
Rounded I-Rank: Medium
I-Rank Reasons Summary: Erodium cicutarium is a widespread, low-lying, disturbance-loving species. It can impact the fire ecology of natural systems and may form monocultures to the exclusion of more diverse communities. Present in the U.S. before Spanish settlement, several sources consider it to be almost 'natural.' This perception suggests that there is little momentum to remove it from the landscape.
Subrank I - Ecological Impact: Medium/Low
Subrank II - Current Distribution/Abundance: Medium
Subrank III - Trend in Distribution/Abundance: Medium/Low
Subrank IV - Management Difficulty: Medium/Low
I-Rank Review Date: 09Sep2004
Evaluator: Fellows, M.
Native anywhere in the U.S?
Native Range: Native to the Mediterranean region (Wagner et al., Flora of Hawaii, 1990; Howard 1992), Europe, including the British Isles, Northern Africa and the Atlantic Islands (Weber 2003).

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Screening Questions

S-1. Established outside cultivation as a non-native? YES
Comments: (Kartesz 1999).

S-2. Present in conservation areas or other native species habitat? Yes
Comments: Reported from several National Parks from California to Tennessee (Plant Conservation Alliance 2004)

Subrank I - Ecological Impact: Medium/Low

1. Impact on Ecosystem Processes and System-wide Parameters:Medium/Low significance
Comments: Both live and dead plants affect fire occurrences by acting as ground fuels that can spread the fire (Howard 1992).

2. Impact on Ecological Community Structure:Low significance
Comments: A low lying herb, it will effect density of one layer.

3. Impact on Ecological Community Composition:High significance
Comments: Can form monocultures in disturbed habitats (Weber 2003; Schneider 2004).

4. Impact on Individual Native Plant or Animal Species:Low significance/Insignificant
Comments: No disproportionate impacts mentioned.

5. Conservation Significance of the Communities and Native Species Threatened:Moderate significance
Comments: May be found in rare plant habitats as well as more common communities (Howard 2002; Schneider 2004). One of the most widespread and abundant alien species in the habitat of the Federally Listed Threatened desert tortoise in the Mojave and Colorado Deserts (Brooks and Esque 2002).

Subrank II. Current Distribution and Abundance: Medium

6. Current Range Size in Nation:High significance
Comments: Occurs in AK and HI, as well as all but 2 of the contiguous US (Kartesz 1999).

7. Proportion of Current Range Where the Species is Negatively Impacting Biodiversity:Low significance
Comments: Although the species is widespread and associated with negative ecosystem impacts in California and other western parts of the range, there has been no mention of effects in eastern areas.

8. Proportion of Nation's Biogeographic Units Invaded:High significance
Comments: Erodium cicutarium occurs in over 34 ecoregions (Kartesz 1999; TNC 2001; NRCS 2004).

9. Diversity of Habitats or Ecological Systems Invaded in Nation:High significance
Comments: A wide variety of habitats from desert to riparian, including pine, mixed forests, redwood, sagebrush, savanna, mountain grasslands, prairie and annual grasslands (Howard 1992).

Subrank III. Trend in Distribution and Abundance: Medium/Low

10. Current Trend in Total Range within Nation:High/Low significance
Comments: Inferrred from ability to invade disturbed areas.

11. Proportion of Potential Range Currently Occupied:Low significance
Comments: Tolerates range of climates, from tropical Hawaii to cold, rainy Pacific Northwest, although only below 7000 feet; it is already present in most US states (Howard 1992).

12. Long-distance Dispersal Potential within Nation:Medium/Low significance
Comments: Dispersal by animals through intentional food gathering or unintentionally (caught on fur) (Howard 1992).

13. Local Range Expansion or Change in Abundance:Not ranked

14. Inherent Ability to Invade Conservation Areas and Other Native Species Habitats:Low significance
Comments: Erodium cicutarium is a pioneer species, invading disturbed sites (Howard 1992; Weber 2003).

15. Similar Habitats Invaded Elsewhere:Low significance
Comments: Circumglobal at latitudes below 70 degrees north and south (Howard 1992). Already present in a wide-range of habitats in US (Howard 1992; Weber 2003).

16. Reproductive Characteristics:Moderate significance
Comments: Reproduces more than once a year (Howard 1992). Seeds can remain viable for several years, forming an extensive seed bank (Howard 1992).

Subrank IV. General Management Difficulty: Medium/Low

17. General Management Difficulty:Moderate significance
Comments: Resilient under heavy grazing (Howard 1992). Hand pull or cut individual plants; treat large patches with herbicide (Weber 2003).

18. Minimum Time Commitment:High/Low significance
Comments: Seeds can remain viable for several years, forming an extensive seed bank (Howard 1992).

19. Impacts of Management on Native Species:Medium significance/Insignificant
Comments: Impacts are likely minimal, hand pulling will have few impacts on natives, and areas large enough to herbicide are likely monocultures.

20. Accessibility of Invaded Areas:Low significance/Insignificant
Comments: Based on habitat preferences, areas are likely to be accessible.

Botanical data developed by NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs (see Local Programs), The North Carolina Botanical Garden, and other contributors and cooperators (see Sources).

  • Brooks, M. L. and T. C. Esque, 2002. Alien plants and fire in desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii) habitat of the Mojave and Colorado deserts. Chelonian Conservation Biology 4(2): 330-340.

  • Howard, J.L. 1992. Erodium cicutarium. In: Fischer, William C., compiler. The Fire Effects Information System [Data base]. Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. Available: Accessed October 2002. Missoula, MT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station, Intermountain Fire Sciences Laboratory.

  • Kartesz, J.T. 1994. A synonymized checklist of the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. 2nd edition. 2 vols. Timber Press, Portland, OR.

  • Kartesz, J.T. 1996. Species distribution data at state and province level for vascular plant taxa of the United States, Canada, and Greenland (accepted records), from unpublished data files at the North Carolina Botanical Garden, December, 1996.

  • Kartesz, J.T. 1999. A synonymized checklist and atlas with biological attributes for the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. First edition. In: Kartesz, J.T., and C.A. Meacham. Synthesis of the North American Flora, Version 1.0. North Carolina Botanical Garden, Chapel Hill, N.C.

  • Plant Conservation Alliance. 2004. Alien plant invaders of natural areas. Last updated July 2004. Available at: Accessed 2004.

  • Schneider, A. 2004. Southwest Colorado wildflowers, ferns, and trees. Last updated January 20, 2004. Available: (Accessed 2004).

  • USDA, NRCS. 2004. The PLANTS Database, Version 3.5 ( . National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70874-4490 USA.

  • Wagner, W.L., D.R. Herbst, and S.H. Sohmer. 1990. Manual of the flowering plants of Hawaii. Univ. Hawaii Press and Bishop Museum Press, Honolulu. 1853 pp.

  • Weber, E. 2003. Invasive plant species of the world: a reference guide to environmental weeds. CABI Publishing, Cambridge, Massachusetts. 548 pp.

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