Geum vernum (Raf.) Torr. & A. Gray - Spring Avens


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Geum vernum - (image 1 of 6)



Family: Rosaceae


Rich woods.




Southern Ontario to southern WI, IA, and KS, south to TN and northwest OK; considered to be introduced in NY and MA though native and rare in VT.


Herbaceous perennial; stems erect or ascending, 30-60 cm; some basal leaves long petiolate, simple or nearly so, others smaller and pinnate; principle cauline leaves pinnate or some trifoliate, with several toothed and often deeply cleft divisions, the upper and lower cauline leaves reduced; sepals triangular, reflexed; epicalyx bractlets lacking; petals yellow or cream, 1-2 mm; head of achenes elevated on a stipe 1-2 mm; achenes 2-3 mm, minutely appressed-puberulent; proximal segment of the style nearly glabrous except for a few glandular hairs; terminal segment of the style 0.7-1 mm, inserted on the very tip of the basal segment.


Flowers April to May

Wetland indicator: FACU

The flowers of this species are similar to those of G. virginianum but typically a deeper yellow and flowering much earlier. The only other species in the northeast with the head of achenes noticeably elevated on a stipe in fruit is G. rivale.


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




 Michael Hough 2018