Geum rivale Jacq. - Water Avens


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Geum rivale - (image 1 of 7)



Family: Rosaceae


Swamps, wet meadows.




Most of the northern half of the U.S. into Canada.


Herbaceous perennial. Basal leaves pinnate compound with 3-5 principal leaflets; terminal leaflet broad, serrate and more or less 3-lobed. Cauline leaves reduced, variously toothed or divided. Flowers numerous, nodding; sepals reddish-purple; corolla campanulate with 5 pale-yellow petals. Fruit an achene with decurved style.


Flowers late May to July

Wetland indicator: OBL

According to Peterson (1977), the root can be boiled to make a hot chocolate-like beverage.

This species can form fertile hybrids with the introduced G. urbanum which differ in having more spreading sepals and larger stipules.

Geum intermedium Ehrh. (Geum rivale urbanum)


Gleason, Henry A. and A. Cronquist. 1991. Manual of Vascular Plants of Northeastern United States and Adjacent Canada. Second Ed.

The New York Botanical Garden. Bronx, NY


Peterson, L. A. 1977. A Field Guide to Edible Wild Plants: Eastern and central North America

Houghton Mifflin Company. New York, NY


Swink, F. and G. Wilhelm. 1994. Plants of the Chicago Region.
Indiana Academy of Science. The Morton Arboretum. Lisle, Illinois.


USDA, NRCS. 2002.
The PLANTS Database, Version 3.5 (
National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70874-4490 USA.





 Michael Hough 2009