I was surprised to see this tiny bloom on February 17, 2013 even though our area has already had a few high temperatures in the upper 60's. The plant was not familiar to me and because it had already claimed some fame I had to see if I could learn more about it.
My first step was to post the photo you see here on our Facebook page in the hope someone might know at least a common name for it. Chris Roberts who is an ecologist at the Missouri Department of Conservation - University of Missouri responded within two hours with "It's a cool season Mediterranean annual called fillaree or sometimes cranesbill, Erodium cicutarium. Very similar native species with spatulate leaves is Erodium texanum." His identification has since been followed up by Sonya Berg who is a former director at Wildcat Bluff Nature Center. Now how cool is that?
I love it when people freely share their knowledge with others because then we all can benefit! Once I had some names to go on, I discovered there is quite a bit of information available bout this species and some of it is a bit surprising. It has both beneficial and potentially harmful traits on record. Eventually, I will find the time to put some of this information together for you in our reference to all Our Residents at Wildcat Bluff.
The project to make information available on this site about every living thing we see at Wildcat Bluff is a huge one and I am going to need lots of help. This year, I am starting a new project called Adopt a Species which I hope will help speed up progress in documenting all Our Residents.
So I have already spotted the first species to bloom at Wildcat Bluff but spring is coming up and soon there will be many more first leaf, first bloom, first fruit and first dropped leaves for many species of plants out here. With your help, we will be able to document many of these life cycles for most of our resident plants.
You can see a listing of the wildflowers currently blooming on our property.