Geum rivale
Geum rivale flower - Keila.jpg
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Rosids
Order: Rosales
Family: Rosaceae
Genus: Geum
G. rivale
Binomial name
Geum rivale

Geum rivale, the water avens, is a flowering plant of the family Rosaceae. Other names for the plant are nodding avens, drooping avens, cure-all, water flower and Indian chocolate.[1] It is native to much of Europe, with the exception of Mediterranean areas, as well as some parts of Central Asia and North America.[2] In North America, it is known as purple avens.[3] It grows in bogs and damp meadows,[4] and produces nodding red flowers from May to September.[5]

The plant is a native perennial of slow-draining or wet soils and can tolerate mildly acidic to calcareous conditions in full sun or under partial shade. Habitats include stream sides, pond edges, damp deciduous woodland and hay meadows.[6]

Geum rivale is pollinated primarily by bees, less often by flies and beetles. As the flower matures, elongation of the stamens ensures it self-fertilises if not already cross-pollinated. The flowers stigmas mature before the stamens. It begins flowering a little earlier than G. urbanum, so early pollinations will be within the gene-pool of the single species.[7] The seeds of Water Avens are burr-like, and are distributed after being caught in the coats of rabbits and other small mammals,[8] and by rhizomal growth.[6]

Geum rivale is parasitised by Podosphaera aphanis – a conidial powdery mildew.[9] Yellow spots on the living leaf may be caused by Peronospora gei – a downy mildew.[10]

Geum urbanum hybridises fairly regularly with Geum rivale as they are closely related and occur together.

It is a component of purple moor grass and rush pastures is a type of Biodiversity Action Plan habitat in the UK. It occurs on poorly drained neutral and acidic soils of the lowlands and upland fringe. It is found in the South West of England, especially in Devon.


  1. ^ A Modern Herbal.
  2. ^ Arne Anderberg (2004-11-17). "Den virtuela floran: Geum rivale".
  3. ^ "Plants Profile for Geum rivale L. (purple avens)". United States Department of Agriculture. Retrieved 2007-04-20.
  4. ^ "Water Avens (Purple Avens) Geum rivale". Connecticut Botanical Society. 2005-11-13.
  5. ^ W. Keble Martin (1972). The Concise British Flora in Colour. Book Club Associates. p. 256 pp. ISBN 0-7181-4028-1.
  6. ^ a b Wildseeds Website.
  7. ^ "Biodiversity site". Archived from the original on 2007-12-02. Retrieved 2009-05-11.
  8. ^ "First Nature wildflowers". Archived from the original on 2008-05-16. Retrieved 2009-05-11.
  9. ^ Ing, B.( 1990). An Introduction to British Powdery Mildews.
  10. ^ Ellis, M. B. & J. P. (1997). Microfungi on Land Plants: An Identification Handbook.

External links