WOOD AVENS

HERB-BENNET

Geum urbanum

Rose Family [Rosaceae]  

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status
statusZnative
flower
flower8yellow
inner
inner8green
morph
morph8actino
petals
petalsZ5
stem
stem8round

Leeds & Liverpool Canal, Addlington. Photo: © RWD
A very open, but straggly plant about 18 inches tall. Tough stems and sturdy roots, together with a profusion of seeds make this plant a persistent garden weed if it gets a look in. Spreads through dappled woods.


15th July 2005, Silverdale, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
The leaves, typical of the Rose Family, are trefoil, with stem leaves having a large central lobe and two smaller side-lobes set at right-angles and nearer the stem.


21st May 2007, Macclesfield Canal, Bollington. Photo: © RWD
Stems bifurcate at widely spaced intervals, the bifurcation generally having a trefoil leaf. A single flower tops each branch, to become the burrs.


12th June 2008, Monks Dale, Derbyshire. Photo: © RWD
Flowers deep yellow with five well-separated petals. Looks similar to those of Spring Cinquefoil and other Cinquefoils, members of the same Rose family.


21st May 2007, Macclesfield Canal, Bollington. Photo: © RWD
The five un-notched petals vary slightly in shape between specimens. Five dark-green sepals behind are isosceles triangular and shorter than the petals.


Leeds & Liverpool Canal, Addlington. Photo: © RWD
The five sepals occupy the interstices below and between the petals. A multitude os stamens bearing cream coloured pollen surround a plethora of styles in the centre.


19th May 2011, Walkden, Gtr M/cr. Photo: © RWD
The sepals soon turn downwards. Plant slightly hairy.


19th May 2011, Walkden, Gtr M/cr. Photo: © RWD
Sepals isosceles triangular and felty hairy.


3rd July 2015, Gravel Quarry, Darcy Lever, Bolton, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
The styles grow bigger forming a 'tentacled' ball in the middle.


19th May 2011, Walkden, Gtr M/cr. Photo: © RWD
Close-up of stamens, anthers and pollen.


Leeds & Liverpool Canal, Addlington. Photo: © RWD
The ripe seed heads form red spiked spheres, but unlike those of Water Avens, do not have feathers on the spikes. The spikes are kinked.


22nd June 2009, Trowbridge Limestone Quarry, Silverdale, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
The hooked burrs, ready to cling onto passing furry animals and deposit the seed they carry into new territory.


6th June 2011, ex-railway line, Langsett, Yorkshire. Photo: © RWD
The end is kinked rather than double-jointed. The seed at the other end is much wider.


21st May 2007, Macclesfield Canal, Bollington. Photo: © RWD
Trefoil leaves vary in shape, some deeply lobed, others not.


Easily confused with : Hybrid Geum

Hybridizes with : Water 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

Wood Avens (Herb-Bennet) should not be semantically confused with: Herb-Robert nor with the much rarer Herb-Paris, [plants with similar names belonging to differing Families].

The plant, like the Burdocks (which are members of the Daisy & Dandelion Family), is spread by hooked burrs which are attached to the fur of animals brushing passed. The burrs have a seed attached, which is then released elsewhere to grown another patch of the plant. Wood Avens has very tough stems and deepish roots. If it gets into gardens it can be very hard to eradicated, for the many seeds that it sheds will take root next year. It grows quickly. The burrs are held far apart ready to catch on anything passing, such as walkers clothing.

The roots have a clove-like odour and are used to flavour the green-coloured liqueur Benedictine and some ales.


  Geum urbanum  ⇐ Global Aspect ⇒ Rosaceae  

Distribution
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 BSBI maps
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Geum
(Avens)

WOOD AVENS

HERB-BENNET

Geum urbanum

Rose Family [Rosaceae]  

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