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White Avens Geum canadense

Phonetic Spelling
JEE-um ka-na-DEN-see
Description

White Avens is a native pernnial groundcover in the rose family.  It is typically found in woodlands and thickets in the eastern 2/3 of North America including Canada. The plants will grow 1.5 to 2.5 feet tall and bloom in early to late spring into early summer. 

The plant prefers partial shade conditions in moist loam to clay loam soils and lower fertility. More sun is tolerated in moist conditions. The foliage is attractive all year and can be used as a ground cover. The plant usually blooms the second year with small white flowers that are attractive to pollinators. The seedheads have hooks that can attach to fur and clothes. It is often considered weedy and may best be used in naturalized and woodland settings. It can also be used in containers as background vegetation.

White avens could be used as a lawn alternative in an area with low foot traffic as it can be mowed to 4 inches. It is not a dense plant so it will not form a thick mat of vegetation. It prefers the shade but will tolerate sunny areas as well. It is deer and black walnut tolerant.

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems: No significant problems

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#mass planting#NC native#thickets#prickly#native groundcover#flowers late spring#flowers early spring#groundcovers that can be mowed#woodland garden#container plant#flowers midspring#part shade
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#mass planting#NC native#thickets#prickly#native groundcover#flowers late spring#flowers early spring#groundcovers that can be mowed#woodland garden#container plant#flowers midspring#part shade
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Geum
    Species:
    canadense
    Family:
    Roseaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Eastern 2/3 of North America
    Distribution:
    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
    Wildlife Value:
    A variety of pollinators are attracted to the flowers
    Edibility:
    The boiled roots are a chocolate substitute
    Dimensions:
    Height: 1 ft. 6 in. - 2 ft. 6 in.
    Width: 1 ft. 0 in. - 3 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Ground Cover
    Perennial
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Semi-evergreen
    Habit/Form:
    Erect
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Appendage:
    Prickles
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Deep shade (Less than 2 hours to no direct sunlight)
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Alkaline (>8.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Moist
    Occasional Flooding
    Occasionally Dry
    Available Space To Plant:
    12 inches-3 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Green
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Summer
    Fruit Type:
    Achene
    Fruit Length:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    A round cluster of green achenes are about 3/4 inch across and mature to brown. The persistent styles are hooked at their tips allowing them to catch onto fur and clothes.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    White
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    1/2" white flowers with 5 rounded petals and 5 pointed green sepals and numerous stamens that surround a dome-shaped center of green carpels from early to late spring into early summer. They arise from the terminal stem in 1-3 groups and from the axis of upper stems.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Semi-evergreen
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Type:
    Compound (Pinnately , Bipinnately, Palmately)
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Rosulate
    Leaf Shape:
    Lanceolate
    Ovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Lobed
    Serrate
    Hairs Present:
    Yes
    Leaf Length:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Basal leaves are produced in the spring in a 6-inch rosette with compound leaves with 3-7 leaflets and long petioles. The lower stem leaves are usually compound with 3 leaflets and the upper leaves are usually simple and alternate. Leaves are up to 4 inches long and 3 inches wide and are variable in shape. Leaves get smaller as they go up the stem with shorter or no petioles. There is a strawberry leaf-like structure at the base of the petiole. Both sides of the leaves may have a few hairs. Margins are serrated and often divided into 3 lobes.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Green
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Cross Section:
    Round
    Stem Surface:
    Hairy (pubescent)
    Stem Description:
    Round green upper stems are pubescent, while the lower stems are often brownish green and coarsely hairy
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Container
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Native Garden
    Shade Garden
    Design Feature:
    Mass Planting
    Attracts:
    Bees
    Pollinators
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Black Walnut