Geum canadense
(White Avens)

Other pictures of this plant:

               Seedpod                                           Leaf                                            Stem                                        Seed                                          Habit

Facts About this Plant:

    Common Names: White Avens, Canada Avens
    Lifespan: Perennial
    Zones: 4 - 9
    Type: Forb
    Bloom Time: May - July
    Status: Native

Geum canadense, or White Avens, is native to the eastern two-thirds of the United States. It is a perennial, which grows in open woods, shaded waste areas, undisturbed areas in yards, thickets and along woodland edges. It blooms in early to mid summer, with bright white flowers, whose petals extend well past its sepals.

The plant can be easily confused with two others that grow in its range, namely, Geum virginianum and Geum laciniatum. The primary difference between the three is the shape and color of their flowers. Geum virginianum has small petals that are shorter than its sepals, and are also cream-colored, both of which separate it from Geum canadense, which has large petals that are longer than its sepals and are bright white. Geum laciniatum has small petals that are shorter than the sepals, and are also bright white like Geum canadense. In addition to these color differences, the plants usually also bloom at slightly different times - Geum laciniatum blooms first in the late spring; then comes Geum canadense, and then Geum virginianum follows. There is some overlap of blooming time with these at times, so bloom time is not always a solid indicator, but can be helpful. Finally, Geum laciniatum has very divided leaves, and hairy stems, while the other two species do not. See image below for a comparison.

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