Plants of
South Australia
Erodium crinitum
Hairy Blue Heron's-bill,
Blue Heron's-bill,
Blue Stork'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: 4

Common names

Hairy Blue Heron's-bill

Blue Heron's-bill

Blue Stork's-bill


Erodium from the Greek 'erodios' meaning heron; alluding to the fruit resembling the head and beak of this bird. Crinitum from the Latin 'crinis' meaning long hair; possible referring to the scattered long stiff white hairs along the stems.

Distribution and status

A widespread species found across South Australia, growing in open woodland, grassland and saltbush communities. Also found in all mainland states. Native. Common in South Australia. Common in the other states.
Herbarium regions: Nullarbor, Gairdner-Torrens, Flinders Ranges, Eastern, Eyre Peninsula, Northern Lofty, Murray, Yorke Peninsula, Southern Lofty, Kangaroo Island, South Eastern, Green Adelaide
NRM regions: Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges, Alinytjara Wilurara, Eyre Peninsula, Kangaroo Island, Northern and Yorke, South Australian Arid Lands, South Australian Murray-Darling Basin, South East
AVH map: SA distribution map (external link)

Plant description

Decumbent to ascending herb with stems to 50 cm high, with scattered long stiff white non-glandular hairs. Basal leaves with 3-lobed, toothed, ovate, to 4 cm long and 3 cm wide, hirsute. Inflorescence in groups of 2-6, rarely solitary, with blue with white or yellow veins flowers. Flowering between July and April. Fruits are long brown capsule to 6 cm long. Seeds are golden brown ovoid seed to 1 cm long, covered in long white hairs and with a 4 cm long hairy awn-like attachment.

Seed collection and propagation

Collect seeds between October and June. 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). Germination 95%, seed scarified (covering structured removed and seed coat chipped) on 1% w/v agar, 8/16 dark/light, 15°C. See