WATER AVENS

Geum rivale

Rose Family [Rosaceae]  

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Pappus:  (brown, bristly with hook and feathers)
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status
statusZnative
flower
flower8bicolour
flower
flower8pink
inner
inner8yellow
morph
morph8actino
petals
petalsZ5
stem
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12th June 2008, Monsal Dale, Derbyshire Photo: © RWD
Grows in gatherings in damp places near water, rather than in water, for despite its name it is not aquatic.


12th June 2008, Monsal Dale, Derbyshire Photo: © RWD
The brownish-purple looking flowers droop, stalks bent in inverse umbrella-handle fashion.


31st May 2005, Barnoldswick, Leeds & Liverpool Canal. Photo: © RWD
A set of trifoliate leaves grows half-way up the stalk, reminiscent of Fringe Cups.


12th June 2008, Monsal Dale, Derbyshire Photo: © RWD
A single clump.


31st May 2005, Barnoldswick, Leeds & Liverpool Canal, Photo: © RWD
The buff-coloured petals of the flower are always mostly hidden by the five purplish brown sepals.


8th May 2009, Near Coniston, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
The flowers always droop downwards, never displayed upwards.


15th May 2008, Warton Crag, Lancs. Photo: © RWD


15th May 2008, Warton Crag, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
Unlike the hybrid between Water Avens and Wood Avens (which is called Hybrid Geum), this has pink petals that are flattish and shaped as of a spatula with rounded notches in the middle of the ends.


31st May 2005, Barnoldswick, Leeds & Liverpool Canal, Photo: © RWD
The flower profile has a distinct pentagonal appearance.


26th May 2015, Monks Dale, White Peak, Derbyshire. Photo: © RWD
A hoard of anthers crowd around the central brush of styles.


31st May 2005, Barnoldswick, Leeds & Liverpool Canal, Photo: © RWD
Later the seeds start to emerge from the centre like feathery hairs from the mouth of a monster.


12th June 2008, Monsal Dale, Derbyshire Photo: © RWD
And the flower head at last starts to present itself upward looking.


12th June 2008, Monsal Dale, Derbyshire Photo: © RWD


10th June 2009, Smardale Gill Viaduct, near Ravenstonedale. Photo: © RWD
The feathery seeds have a distinct twist in the tail: they can travel either by air using the feathers or by the kinked 'hook' getting caught in the fur of passing animals. The hairs are similar to the hairs of those attached to the seeds of Virgin's-Bower.


12th June 2008, Monsal Dale, Derbyshire Photo: © RWD
Lower leaves are an irregularly toothed trefoil shape.


DOUBLE-FLOWERED MUTATIONS

These double-flowered forms were all found growing amongst many perfectly normal Water Avens. There are red, pink and the usual Water-Aven pale buff colours. As is readily apparent these double-flowered forms have many more petals than just a doubling. Perhaps a better description would be triple- or quadruple-flowered. Un-like most double flowered flowers where access to the inside is physically restricted by the proliferation of petals, access to the innards in these examples seems easy.

 Mutations Menu

10th June 2009, Smardale Gill Viaduct, near Ravenstonedale. Photo: © RWD
These are not hybrids, but naturally-occurring mutations, which are fairly common in Water Avens.


10th June 2009, Smardale Gill Viaduct, near Ravenstonedale. Photo: © RWD


10th June 2009, Smardale Gill Viaduct, near Ravenstonedale. Photo: © RWD
The petals on this specimen have the normal buff colouring of Water Avens. Un-like most double flowered flowers where access to the inside is physically restricted by the proliferation of petals, access is easily afforded by visiting insects (but whether the plant is sterile, as is usual in double-flowered forms, is not known).


10th June 2009, Smardale Gill Viaduct, near Ravenstonedale. Photo: © RWD
'Hooked' kinks are forming in the centre, but are there seeds on the other end?). There are far fewer anthers in this specimen, and it looks likely that many of the anthers have mutated into petals.


10th June 2009, Smardale Gill Viaduct, near Ravenstonedale. Photo: © RWD
This specimen looks different to the other mutations: is that an (albeit abnormal) tiered flower emerging (on a flattened fasciated stalk) from the centre?


Not to be semantically confused with : Gean aka Wild Cherry (Prunus avium), a tree which happens to belong to the same family, Rose (Rosaceae)

Hybridizes with : Wood Avens to produce Hybrid Geum. Fully fertile hybrid swarms proliferate where the parents meet, with the hybrids exhibiting a full spectrum of intermediate forms between the two parents covering every aspect.

Distinguishing Feature :

From afar the way the leaves are shaped and are widely spaced on one side up the stem resembles that of Fringe Cups

Water Avens is taking advantage of two methods of seed dispersal; by both hooks which latch on to animal fur (or human clothing) and by wind dispersal by means of short feathers on the hooks. Because the hairs are relatively short and the hook relatively heavy, a stronger wind would be necessary to carry the seed, when there are fewer animals about (they are sheltering from the wind). There's nothing like hedging your bets.


  Geum rivale  ⇐ Global Aspect ⇒ Rosaceae  

Distribution
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 BSBI maps
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Geum
(Avens)

WATER AVENS

Geum rivale

Rose Family [Rosaceae]  

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