Information on Musk Stork's-bill

Common Name: Musk Stork's-bill
Scientific Name: Erodium moschatum
Irish Name: Creagach muscach
Family Group: Geraniaceae
Distribution: View Map (Courtesy of the BSBI)
Flowering Period


Click for list of all flowering by month
Musk Stork's-bill could sometimes be confused with:

Stork's-bill, Common,

Found mainly near the sea, Musk Stork’s-bill is best identified from Common Stork’s-bill by being stickily hairy. It has purple-pink five-petalled flowers (2 cm) which are borne in umbels of two to eight flowers, blooming from May to July. The distinctive leaves are pinnate, with toothed lobes and the stipules are quite blunt. As you might guess, the plant smells strongly of musk. It creeps across sandy, waste places and roadsides, usually covered in sand or dust which sticks to the leaves and it rarely reaches higher than 30 cm. This species was probably introduced into Ireland and it belongs to the Geraniaceae family.

I first recorded this plant on a BSBI Field-trip in 2010 with Paul Green, Vice-county Recorder for Counties Wexford and Waterford and am grateful to Paul for his identification. 

If you are satisfied you have correctly identified this plant, please submit your sighting to the National Biodiversity Data Centre

Stork's-bill, Musk
Stork's-bill, Musk

The generic name of Erodium comes from erodius which is Greek for a heron or stork, alluding to the long neck and beak of the bird, not unlike the shape of this plant’s fruit.