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Geum canadense (White avens)
Smith, R.W.

Geum canadense

Geum canadense Jacq.

White Avens

Rosaceae (Rose Family)


USDA Symbol: geca7

USDA Native Status: L48 (N), CAN (N)

White Avens is a member of the rose family (family Rosaceae) which includes herbs, shrubs, and trees with mostly prickly stems. Flowers: usually bisexual, radially symmetrical; sepals 5; petals 5 or sometimes none, separate; stamens usually numerous; sepals, petals, and stamens attached at edge of cup (which is attached at bottom of ovary), or attached at top of ovary.Leaves: alternate, simple or compound, usually with small leaf-like structures at the base of the leaf stalk. Fruit: dry or fleshy, opening at maturity or remaining closed.

White Avens complements any woodland garden as a groundcover or in a mass planting. The leaves resemble those of strawberries. Its evergreen winter foliage also makes it attractive as a potted plant. The seeds attach to dog fur or clothing.

There are about 100 genera and 3,000 species in the worldwide Rose family. Apples, pears, quinces, cherries, plums, peaches, apricots, loquats, blackberries, raspberries, and strawberries are important fruits. Roses, Cotoneaster, Firethorn, Mountain Ash, Spirea, and Hawthorns are common ornamentals.


From the Image Gallery

31 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Leaf Retention: Semi-evergreen
Fruit Type: Achene , Aggregate
Size Notes: Usually 4 to 18 inches, but can reach 4 feet.
Leaf: Green
Flower: Flowers 1/2 inch.
Fruit: Aggregated achenes.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr , May , Jun , Jul , Aug


USA: AL , AR , CT , DC , DE , GA , IA , IL , IN , KS , KY , LA , MA , MD , ME , MI , MN , MO , MS , MT , NC , ND , NE , NH , NJ , NY , OH , OK , PA , RI , SC , SD , TN , TX , VA , VT , WI , WV , WY
Canada: NB , NS , PE , QC
Native Distribution: Nova Scotia to South Dakota to Georgia to eastern Texas
Native Habitat: Woodland edges and openings, thickets, open woodlands

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Part Shade , Shade
Soil Moisture: Dry , Moist
CaCO3 Tolerance: Medium
Soil Description: Sandy, Sandy Loam, Medium Loam, Clay Loam, Clay, Calcareous or Acidic, Poor or Rich, Dry or Moist, Loose or Compacted
Conditions Comments: Tolerates seasonal flooding.


Use Ornamental: Ground cover, Can be mowed
Warning: Seeds cling to fur and clothing.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Interesting Foliage: yes
Attracts: Butterflies
Nectar Source: yes
Deer Resistant: No


Propagation Material: Seeds
Seed Collection: Collect seed in June.
Seed Treatment: Start seeds in September and April.
Commercially Avail: yes
Maintenance: As plants are short-lived, allow to self-sow to maintain a continuous groundcover. In dry areas, water during summer to insure leaf retention. To keep the clingy seeds low to the ground, mow once a week during flowering and once a month thereafter, no lower than 4 inches.

Find Seed or Plants

View propagation protocol from Native Plants Network.

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National Wetland Indicator Status

This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1 (Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here for map of regions.

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Fredericksburg Nature Center - Fredericksburg, TX
Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center - Austin, TX
Pineywoods Native Plant Center - Nacogdoches, TX
NPSOT - Austin Chapter - Austin, TX
Jacob's Well Natural Area - Wimberley, TX

Wildflower Center Seed Bank

LBJWC-528 Collected 2007-07-12 in Travis County by Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

1 collection(s) available in the Wildflower Center Seed Bank


Bibref 318 - Native Texas Plants: Landscaping Region by Region (2002) Wasowski, S. & A. Wasowski
Bibref 281 - Shinners & Mahler's Illustrated Flora of North Central Texas (1999) Diggs, G. M.; B. L. Lipscomb; B. O'Kennon; W. F...
Bibref 1294 - The Midwestern Native Garden: Native Alternatives to Nonnative Flowers and Plants An Illustrated Guide (2011) Adelman, Charlotte and Schwartz, Bernard L.
Bibref 286 - Wildflowers of the Texas Hill Country (1989) Enquist, M.

Search More Titles in Bibliography

Web Reference

Webref 38 - Flora of North America (2019) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
Webref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter

Additional resources

USDA: Find Geum canadense in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Geum canadense in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Geum canadense


Record Modified: 2023-02-13
Research By: TWC Staff

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