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Geum rivale - L.

Common Name Water Avens, Purple avens
Family Rosaceae
USDA hardiness 3-7
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Damp places, such as moist ditches and streamsides, most frequently in the shade[9, 17].
Range Europe, including Britain, from Iceland south and east to Spain, Siberia and W. Asia. N. America.
Edibility Rating    (3 of 5)
Other Uses    (0 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (2 of 5)
Care
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Wet Soil Semi-shade Full sun
Geum rivale Water Avens, Purple avens


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Geum rivale Water Avens, Purple avens
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Summary


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Geum rivale is a PERENNIAL growing to 0.3 m (1ft) by 0.3 m (1ft in).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 3 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from May to September, and the seeds ripen from June to October. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Bees. The plant is self-fertile.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist or wet soil.

Synonyms

Habitats

Woodland Garden Sunny Edge; Dappled Shade; Shady Edge; Ground Cover; Hedgerow; Bog Garden;

Edible Uses

Edible Parts:
Edible Uses: Chocolate;  Condiment;  Drink.

The dried or fresh root can be boiled in water to make a delicious chocolate-like drink[85, 95, 106, 183, 213]. It can also be used as a seasoning[102, 183]. It is best harvested in the spring or autumn but can be used all year round[213]. Fragrant[161], it was once used to flavour ales[2, 183].

Medicinal Uses



Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

Antidiarrhoeal;  Antiinflammatory;  Antiseptic;  Aromatic;  Astringent;  Diaphoretic;  Febrifuge;  Stomachic;  
Styptic;  Tonic.

The root is anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, aromatic, astringent, diaphoretic, febrifuge, stomachic, styptic and tonic[4, 21]. An infusion is taken internally in the treatment of diarrhoea (and is suitable for children to use), intestinal and stomach complaints, liver disorders etc, it is also applied externally as a wash to various skin afflictions - it is said to remove spots, freckles and eruptions from the face[4, 9]. This plant has similar properties but is less active than the related G. urbanum and so is seldom used medicinally[9, 238]. The root is best harvested in the spring, since at this time it is most fragrant[4]. Much of the fragrance can be lost on drying, so the root should be dried with great care then stored in a cool dry place in an airtight container, being sliced and powdered only when required for use[4]. The root is rich in tannin and is a powerful astringent[213, 222].

Other Uses

Repellent.

The dried root repels moths. Plants are suitable for ground cover when spaced about 30cm apart each way[208]. The cultivar 'Leonard's Variety' is the best for this purpose[208].

Cultivation details

Easily grown in any moderately good garden soil that is well-drained[1]. Easily grown in a moist or shady border[28, 187]. Prefers a soil rich in organic matter[200]. Prefers a base rich soil[17]. Hybridizes freely with other members of this genus, especially with G. urbanum[187]. There are some named varieties selected for their ornamental value[208, 233].

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Propagation

Seed - sow spring or autumn in a cold frame[200]. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in the summer' Division in spring or autumn. This should be done every 3 - 4 years in order to maintain the vigour of the plant[200]. Very easy, larger clumps can be replanted direct into their permanent positions, though it is best to pot up smaller clumps and grow them on in a cold frame until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the spring.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameEdibility RatingMedicinal Rating
Geum aleppicumYellow Avens12
Geum canadenseWhite Avens, Texan avens20
Geum japonicum 12
Geum pentapetalumAleutian avens02
Geum triflorumPurple Avens, Old man's whiskers, Prairie Smoke22
Geum urbanumWood Avens, Bennet's Root - Old man's whiskers, Herb bennet33
Lygeum spartumAlbardine, Lygeum00
Prunus africanaPygeum05

 

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Author

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Botanical References

17200

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Subject : Geum rivale  
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