I was out in mid-April this year and photographed this perfect example of Erodium texanum also known as the Texas Stork’s Bill. If you know geraniums, you will notice how similar the the leaves of Texas Stork’s Bill are to them. In fact, both Stork’s Bills that occur in Texas are in the Geranium family (Geraniaceae). Read more about the Texas Stork’s Bill here, here, and here.
Here are some other examples of Texas Stork’s Bill that I photographed several years ago. Notice the large purple flowers and the geranium-like leaves.
In all of these photos of Texas Stork’s Bill, you have a few individuals in proximity to one another and all of these produced flowers in March and April.
This image shows the Red Stem Stork’s Bill, Erodium cicutarium, a cousin of Texas Stork’s Bill from Eurasia. Here you can see the lobes cut into the palmately compound leaves and the multi-flowered umbel. Notice in the background there are many, many other individuals of this species covering the ground in view.
Both species of stork’s bill get their name from the way their seed pods grow to resemble the head and long beak of a stork. Notice here, along the stems you can see how strongly hairy these plants are when compared to the almost invisible fuzziness of Texas Stork’s Bill and geraniums.
This image was taken on the 20th of February, you can see a tiny Red Stem Stork’s Bill in flower. (the knife blade is 1 inch wide at the edge of the picture) This species was introduced in the US in the seventeen hundreds, most likely because it is edible (Webb, Robert H.; Steiger, John W.; Newman, Evelyn B. 1988. The response of vegetation to disturbance in Death Valley National Monument, California. U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 1793. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey. 69 p.)(USGS). It reproduces prolifically and has become a competitor to cool season farm crops. It has invaded all 50 of the United States and all of Canada. Remarkable plant.