Although Dove’s-foot Crane’s-bill is often overlooked this low growing native annual (5-30cm) is quite attractive if examined closely. It has small, dark pink flowers about 8-12 mm in diameter with five notched petals. Unlike the similar looking small-flowered crane’s-bill all its stamens have two-lobed purple anthers. Dove’s-foot crane’s-bill flowers from April to September. Occasionally it can rapidly colonise bare patches of free draining, acidic soils and when this happens the whole area can turn pinkish-purple.
Being a low growing plant dove’s-foot crane’s-bill requires an open habitat to thrive such as dry grasslands, garden lawns, verges and waste ground. As a winter annual it can flower and set seed early in the year, in addition a proportion of the seed will remain viable in the soil for many years. These two factors make it a suitable addition to roof mixtures that can have a tendency to drought off in high summer.
Sow at any time of the year. Speed of germination can be increased following a light scarification.