Geum macrophyllum (Large-leaf Avens)

Plant Info
Also known as:
Family:Rosaceae (Rose)
Life cycle:perennial
Habitat:part shade, sun; moist woods, meadows, along streams
Bloom season:June - August
Plant height:12 to 40 inches
Wetland Indicator Status:GP: FACW MW: FACW NCNE: FACW
MN county distribution (click map to enlarge):Minnesota county distribution map
National distribution (click map to enlarge):National distribution map

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Detailed Information

Flower: Flower shape: 5-petals Cluster type: panicle

[photo of flowers] 1 to a few flowers are at the end of branching stems at the top of the plant. Individual flowers are about ½ inch across with 5 yellow round to oval petals that may have a dull point or a small notch at the tip. There are numerous yellow-tipped stamens, that turn reddish brown with age, covering the greenish center. The 5 sharply pointed green sepals under the flower bend back away from the flower.

Leaves and stem: Leaf attachment: alternate Leaf attachment: basal Leaf type: compound

[photo of basal leaves] There are a few to several long stalked compound basal leaves with a large kidney-shaped leaflet, sometimes round or 3-lobed, at the end with several smaller leaflets along the stalk. Basal leaves can be 18 inches long, with the end leaflet to 7 inches long and wide.

[photo of stem leaves] The compound stem leaves are alternately attached, with the end leaflet divided into 3 coarsely toothed lobes. The end leaflet is to 4½ inches long and 3½ inches wide and 3-lobed. The pair of leafy appendages (stipules) attached at the base of the stalk are conspicuous with large sharp teeth. Stem leaves near the base of the plant have 1 or more additional pairs of smaller leaflets. All leaves are very hairy, and become progressively smaller and shorter stalked as they ascend the stem, stalkless in the flowering branches. Stems are covered in stiff hairs.

Fruit: Fruit type: barbed Fruit type: seed without plume

[photo of fruit] Fruit is a dry oval seed; the seed head is covered in hooks


The flowers, stem leaves and stipules are very much like Yellow Avens (Geum aleppicum), but its basal leaves do not have the big round end leaflet. There are 2 recognized varieties of Large-leaf Avens: var. macrophyllum is found in northwest and northeast North America, var. perincisum, found in Minnesota, is more widespread and has more deeply dissected stem leaves than its cousin.

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More photos

Photos by K. Chayka taken at Long Lake Regional Park, Ramsey County.


Have you seen this plant in Minnesota, or have any other comments about it?

Posted by: Pat W - My backyard near Brainerd
on: 2019-03-25 09:32:03

These are very weedy on my property, the seed hooks clasp onto my clothing in fall, so I try my best to eradicate them.

Posted by: luciearl - lake shore
on: 2020-07-26 03:19:57

On the edge of a woodland area in my yard. Also have White Avens

Posted by: Ali - Watertown (Carver County)
on: 2021-06-02 20:31:51

I?m pretty sure this is growing in my yard for the first time this year. Spotted just one in my landscaping so far, between peonies. Have never seen it before.

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