Water Avens | Geum Rivale | TurfOnline

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Water Avens (Geum Rivale)

Key facts about Water Avens

  • Height: 30-60cm
  • Flowering Time: May – September
  • Flower colour: Crimson red calyx with apricot coloured petals
  • Growth habit: Erect perennial plant with a rosette of leaves close to the ground
  • Habitat: Common in Scotland and the North of England but rare in south west England. Loves wet meadows, marshes, fens damp woodlands and stream sides. Prefers shaded conditions.
  • Appears in: Heritage Mix Meadowmat


water avens flowers and buds

One of the prettiest wildflowers we know. Water avens has delicate nodding flower heads.  The apricot coloured petals form an upside down cup shape that contrasts beautifully with the crimson coloured calyx.  Almost like a fairy’s costume and clearly the inspiration for one of the Burren Flower Fairy illustrations.  The calyx is the same colour as the stem and the buds.

Leaves are very much like garden geum varieties. They are held close to the ground and have three to six pairs of deeply lobed leaflets.

Seed heads are feathery and not unnattractive.

Uses for Water Avens

If you have a damp garden and you enjoy attracting wildlife to your plot, this is the plant for you. Not only does it attract butterflies and bees, it’s also a beacon for other insects. And who loves insects? Why frogs and toads of course.

This beautiful little flower is a visual delight and a major contribution to a flourishing eco system.

On a green roof, it is perfectly happy in windy conditions and adds interest for wildlife.

Medicinally, it does have uses too. Apparently the root of water avens can be made into a flavourful tea and was used by Native Americans to treat children with Dysentry.

The dried root is said to repel moths – so might be worth popping into your wardrobe.

We’ve included Water avens  in our Heritage variety of Meadowmat for lots of good reasons  Meadowmat

  • Easy to grow
  • Enjoys rooftop conditions with minimal human interference
  • Shallow rooted so when used on a roof it won’t compromise waterproofing
  • Bee friendly
  • Butterfly friendly
  • Low growing
  • Copes with dappled shade
  • Happy in damp growing medium
  • Frost hardy
  • Perennial

There’s a Meadowmat variety for almost any garden or landscaping project. Take a look at the selection to find out more.

Find out more here