by Stephen Mifsud
   6 Feb 2023      ()
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Erodium malacoides   (Mallow-Leaved Stork's Bill)

Erodium malacoides  (GERANIACEAE.) 
Images for this profile are taken from the Maltese Islands after year 2000.

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Profile Date Feb-2007 (taxon update: Feb-2007)
Citation for this page Mifsud, S. (2022). Erodium malacoides - datasheet created on Feb-2007. Retrieved from on 06-Feb-2023

Nomenclature and Basic Information

Species name :

Erodium malacoides(L.) L'Hér.
Published in Hort. Kew. 2: 415 (1789)

Synonyms :
(basionym or principal syn.)

Geranium malacoides L.
Full list of synonyms : [Euro+Med] [PlantList] [IPNI] [POWO] [Catalogue of Life] []

Plant Family :

Geraniaceae Juss. (The Geranium Family)
14 species from the Geraniaceae family are recorded from the Maltese Islands.

English name(s) :

Mallow-Leaved Stork's Bill, Glandular Stork's Bill, Mediterranean Stork's Bill

Maltese name(s) :


Status for Malta :

Indigenous. Present on the Maltese islands before man

Frequency :

Very Common     Common    Frequent    Scarce     Rare    Very rare    Extinct

Growth form :

Raunkiaer lifeform [info]: THEROPHYTE ( annual plants, herbaceous )
Germination [info]: Dicotyledon

Legal Protection :

Not legally protected till the last update of this website (2/Mar/2022)

Red List (1989) :

Not listed in the Red Data Book of the Maltese Islands

Flowering Time :

January – June

Colour of Flowers:

Pink or Violet


Not particularly toxic

Name Derivation :

Erodium: From the Greek 'Erodios' meaning a heron alluding to the similarity of the long neck of the heron with the long beak of the fruit. Actually common names such as storksbill and cranesbill are given to most plants of Erodium and Geranium. (Greek origin )
malacoides: Derived from 'malakos' meaning soft, smooth or mucilaginous and it refers to the soft texture of the leaves. (Greek origin )

Planting in rural areas :

Can be planted in rural areas according to ERA Guidelines

Description, Habitat and Distribution
Habitat in Europe: Dry, open habitats.
Preferred habitat in Malta: Different habitats such as fields, valleys, wasteland, roadsides etc.
Botanical Description: Annual or biennial; stems (3-)10-60 cm, with deflexed hairs, often glandular. Leaves 2-10 x 1-5 cm, ovate to oblong, cordate, dentate, sometimes pinnatifid or 3-lobed. Umbels with 3-7 flowers; bracts several, ovate-orbicular, often hairy, whitish; hairs on pedicels and sepals usually glandular. Sepals 5-7 mm; petals 5-9 mm, purplish. Mericarps 5 mm, with white or brownish hairs; apical pits deep, usually glandular, with a wide, deep furrow at the base. Beak 18-35 mm.
Chromosome number: 2n=40
Distributional range: S. Europe, extending northwards in W. France to 49° N.

Distributional map in Europe
and the Mediterranean region (2018):
Occurrences in Europe.
(from Flora Europaea pre year 1993):
Albania, the Azores, the Balaeric Islands, Corse, Crete, France (incl. Monaco and Channel Islands but excluding Corse), Greece, Spain (incl. Andorra but excl. the Balaerics), Italy (excl. Sicily and Sardignia), ex-Jugoslavia, Portugal, Russia and former USSR, Sardinia, Sicily and/or Malta, Turkey (European part)
Occurrences in Europe and the Mediterranean region.
(from Euro+Med Checklist, 2019)
  Country codes  
Ab AE Ag Al Az(M P S) Bl Ca(C F G H L P T) Co Cr Ct Cy Eg Ga Gr Hs(S) IJ It Li LS Lu Ma Md(D M P) Sa Si(M S) Tn Tu(A E) Uk(K)

Links & Further literature (0 papers)

Google Web

Google Images

Google Scholar

Research Gate




Med Checklist

Cat. of Life



World Flora Online

Plants of the World Online

Vienna Virt. Herb.

RBGE Herbarium

KEW Herbarium




Kindly Email if there are papers and publications about local studies or information about this species to be included in the list above.

Species Images (10 images)
   Erodium malacoides   -   Image Code: ERDMA-0.
   Erodium malacoides   -   Image Code: ERDMA-1.
   Erodium malacoides   -   Image Code: ERDMA-2.
   Erodium malacoides   -   Image Code: ERDMA-3.
   Erodium malacoides   -   Image Code: ERDMA-4.
   Erodium malacoides   -   Image Code: ERDMA-5.
   Erodium malacoides   -   Image Code: ERDMA-6.
   Erodium malacoides   -   Image Code: ERDMA-7.
   Erodium malacoides   -   Image Code: ERDMA-8.
   Erodium malacoides   -   Image Code: ERDMA-9.

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Section B:   Where have you seen this plant on the Maltese Islands?
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