Geum canadense

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White avens
Geum canadense 001.JPG
Flowers and foliage
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Rosids
Order: Rosales
Family: Rosaceae
Genus: Geum
Species: G. canadense
Binomial name
Geum canadense

Geum canadense (white avens) is a plant in the rose family, Rosaceae. It is widespread across much of Canada, the United States, and Mexico.[1][2][3]


Geum canadense is a herbaceous plant with basal leaves that have more than three leaflets and are arranged in a low rosette. Leaves above the basal rosette are alternate, with those placed just above the basal leaves typically trifoliate, and upper leaves usually simple. Basal leaves are a darker green and are often coarsely hairy compared to the lighter green and fine hairs found on upper leaves and stems.[4] In milder climates the foliage is evergreen.[5]

Blooming occurs for one to two months in the summer; each flower has five white petals and five green sepals. Flowers are replaced by clusters of long, thin seeds each with a hook on one end that may catch on clothing or animal fur.[4] The flowers resemble those of other members of the rose family such as blackberries[4] and strawberries.[5]

The root system consists of a taproot and rhizomes. The plants prefer light shade or partial sun and moist to dry conditions. Somewhat unusually, they are resistant to the phytotoxins released by Black Walnut trees and so can grow near such trees.[4]


  1. ^ Breedlove, D.E. 1986. Flora de Chiapas. Listados Florísticos de México 4: i–v, 1–246
  2. ^ Davidse, G., M. Sousa Sánchez, S. Knapp & F. Chiang Cabrera. 2014. Saururaceae a Zygophyllaceae. 2(3): ined. In G. Davidse, M. Sousa Sánchez, S. Knapp & F. Chiang Cabrera (eds.) Flora Mesoamericana. Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México D.F., México
  3. ^ Radford, A. E., H. E. Ahles & C. R. Bell. 1968. Manual of the Vascular Flora of the Carolinas i–lxi, 1–1183. University of North Carolina Press, Chapel Hill
  4. ^ a b c d Hilty, John (2002–2012). "White Avens (Geum canadense)". Illinois Wildflowers. Retrieved 2014-09-19. 
  5. ^ a b TWC Staff (2012-10-03). "Geum canadense (White avens)". Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. The University of Texas at Austin. Retrieved 2014-09-19.