Geum aleppicum (Yellow Avens)

Plant Info
Also known as:
Family:Rosaceae (Rose)
Life cycle:perennial
Habitat:part shade, sun; moist soil; meadows, open woods, thickets, swamps
Bloom season:June - July
Plant height:20 to 40 inches
Wetland Indicator Status:GP: FACU MW: FACW NCNE: FAC
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, surrounding the greenish center. The 5 sharply pointed green sepals under the flower eventually 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 stemmed compound basal leaves with a large leaflet at the end and 2 to 6 pairs of small leaflets along the stem. Leaflets are somewhat variable in shape, from wedge to egg-shaped and may lobed in 2 or 3 parts with the lobes broadest at the tip end.

[photo of stem leaves] The compound stem leaves are alternately attached; the end leaflet may be divided into 2 or 3 pointed lobes. The end leaflet is to 4½ inches long and 3½ inches wide. There are 2 leaf-like appendages (stipules) attached to the main stem at the leaf joint. Stem leaves near the base of the plant have 1 or more additional pairs of smaller leaflets. All leaves are coarsely toothed and bristly hairy. The main stem is 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 of Yellow Avens are very much the same as Large-leaf Avens (Geum macrophyllum). The easiest way to tell them apart is by the basal leaves; the latter has a big rounded end leaflet. While varieties of G. aleppicum are not widely accepted (and subsequently documentation on the vars is poor), the DNR lists var. strictum present in Minnesota.

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More photos

Photos by K. Chayka taken at Long Lake and Vadnais/Snail Lake Regional Parks, Ramsey County.


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

Posted by: Linda - Washington County
on: 2011-07-15 13:36:53

Found loads of yellow avens in bloom throughout the sunnier areas of Sunfish Lake Regional Park in Washington County last week.

Posted by: karl - BWCA - Gordon Lake
on: 2016-07-07 21:03:19

along portage path

Posted by: Cynthia - Central Carlton County
on: 2016-07-08 17:10:14

I found several plants in my pasture today (7/7/16)

Posted by: Melinda - Saint Cloud
on: 2019-06-25 14:35:04

I have a clump of these in a shady, damp corner. I originally thought I had Golden Alexanders but, now that they have flowered, I see I have Yellow Avens instead. The larger they get, the weedier they look and the less happy I am with them. I'll probably end up pulling them out but I suspect I should be prepared to plant something in their place to reduce the potential for them to come back.

Posted by: Phil Jessen - Rogers
on: 2019-07-08 14:08:17

We have yellow avens on our property and they have become a significant challenge in the fall due to our dogs running through them. All the seeds cling to their coat and it's a project to get them out. What is the best way to get rid of Yellow Avens?

Posted by: Kari Adams - Morris, MN: Stevens County
on: 2021-09-04 22:16:05

Found blooming at the Morris Wetland Management District Wildlife Trail in late June 2021, likely restored prairie in that area.

Posted by: Tony - Isanti
on: 2023-08-05 15:15:55

Found in my field at the edge of a wetland.

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