cicutarium (L.) L'Hér. ex Ait.
or Warm (dependant on climate)
low and spreading 2 to 5 inch tall plant, growing from a central
taproot. The stems are leafy and hairy. Flowers February to May,
and plants usually dry up and disappear quickly after maturity.
It is one of the first plants to germinate in late fall or spring.
Reproduces from seeds.
on hairy stalks in umbrella-shaped clusters. Flowers vary in color
from pink to purple.
seed is tipped with an elongated tail, which coils spirally at maturity,
assisting the pointed seed in penetrating the soil.
divided as on a carrot, hairy, and very delicate. In early growth
stages, the leaves form only a basal rosette, but later appear on
the stems as well.
filaree is found in oak woodlands, semidesert grassland, and desert
shrublands. It is often found in fields, lawns, and wasteplaces.
filaree is adapted to a broad range of soil types. It grows in well-drained,
clayey, loamy, or sandy soil, and is tolerant of moderately acidic
to moderately alkaline soils.
red brome, creosote
bush, sagebrush, and rabbitbrush.
filaree furnishes excellent to good spring forage for cattle, sheep,
desert tortoise, and other wildlife. It can also provide winter
forage if the seeds germinate following fall rains. It has been
reported to cause bloating, and is an aggressive invader of desert
ranges under heavy grazing.
Young leaves can be eaten raw or cooked. It is reputed to contain
an antidote for strychnine. The presence or absence of redstem filaree
pollen in fossil records, sediment lakebeds, and artifacts has been
used as a dating technique in paleobotany and archeology. Redstem
filaree was one of the first exotics to invade North America. It
was apparently introduced in California during the early 1700's
by passing Spanish explorers.