2. Erodium L’Héritier ex Aiton, Hort. Kew. 2: 414. 1789.
牻牛儿苗属 mang niu er miao shu
Herbs, annual, biennial, or perennial. Leaves simple, petiolate; leaf blade usually pinnately divided, sometimes entire; basal leaves usually forming a rosette; cauline leaves opposite or alternate. Inflorescence terminal or axillary, cymose, bracteate. Flowers usually in pseudoumbels, actinomorphic, rarely somewhat zygomorphic. Sepals 5, imbricate, apex obtuse to caudate. Petals 5, distinct. Stamens 5, alternating with 5 staminodes. Nectaries 5, alternate with petals. Ovary 5-locular, with 2 superposed ovules per locule; style distinctly 5-cleft. Fruit a schizocarp, long beaked, splitting into 5 1-seeded mericarps with a spirally twisted and trichome-covered awn.
About 75 species: N Africa, temperate Asia, Australia, Europe, North and South America; four species in China.
The European species Erodium moschatum (Linnaeus) L’Héritier has been reported as naturalized in Taiwan (J. C. Ou & M. T. Kao, Taiwania 38: 19. 1993), but no specimens from Taiwan have been seen by the authors.