Plants of
South Australia
Erodium carolinianum
Carolin Haron's Bill,
Clammy Heron's-bill,
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Regional Species Conservation Assessments per IBRA subregion.
Least concern
Near threatened
Critically endangered
Data deficient
Coober Pedy
Mount Gambier
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Botanical art

Kath Alcock paintings: 2

Prior names

Erodium cygnorum ssp. glandulosum, partly

Common names

Carolin Haron's Bill

Clammy Heron's-bill



Erodium from the Greek 'erodios' meaning heron; alluding to the fruit resembling the head and beak of this bird. Carolinianum named after Prof. Roger Charles Carolin (1929-), an Associate Professor at the University of Sydney, plant taxonomist, principal author of Flora of Australia Vol. 35. Brunoniaceae & Goodeniacea, revisional treatments in Geraniaceae and collector of the holotype for this species from Butler's Peak Range near Fowler's Gap in 1956.

Distribution and status

Found in the northern part of South Australia, growing in open communities in arid and semi-arid regions. Also found in Western Australia, Northern Territory, Queensland and New South Wales. Native. Common in South Australia. Uncommon in Western Australia and Queensland. Common in the other states.
Herbarium regions: North Western, Lake Eyre, Nullarbor, Gairdner-Torrens, Flinders Ranges, Eastern, Eyre Peninsula, Northern Lofty
NRM regions: Alinytjara Wilurara, Eyre Peninsula, South Australian Arid Lands
AVH map: SA distribution map (external link)

Plant description

Prostrate, decumbent or ascending annual herb to 30 cm high covered with soft glandular hairs. Basal leaves palmatifid with lobes toothed and covered in glandular-hairs both surfaces. Flowers in umbels of 2-6, sepals with glandular hairs, petals blue-purple with bases and veins red. Flowering between May and September. Fruits are long brown capsule. Seeds are brown ovoid seed (mericarp) to 8 mm long, covered in long white hairs and with a 55 mm long hairy awn-like attachment, pit at the top of the seed without any hairs.

Seed collection and propagation

Collect seeds between July and November. Collect matured capsules, those that are turning brown and have exposed brown seeds. Place the capsules in a tray and leave to dry fro 1 to 2 weeks. If only seeds collected, no further cleaning is required. If other material is collected, use a sieve to separate unwanted material. Store the seeds with a desiccant such as dried silica beads or dry rice, in an air tight container in a cool and dry place. This species has physical dormancy that needs to be overcome for the seed to germinate (e.g. nicking or softening the seed coat).