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Herbaceous Perennial

Geum rivale
  • RHS Plants for pollinators

water avens

G. rivale is a herbaceous perennial with bright green, lobed basal leaves. The flower stems and sepals are flushed with dark red, and the dusky pink or pale orange, drooping flowers appear from late spring to midsummer

Other common names
chocolate root
Indian chocolate
see morepurple avens
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Size
Ultimate height
0.1–0.5 metres
Time to ultimate height
2–5 years
Ultimate spread
0.1–0.5 metres
Growing conditions
Chalk
Loam
Sand
Moisture
Moist but well–drained
pH
Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring Red Orange Pink Green
Summer Red Orange Pink Green
Autumn
Winter
Position
  • Full sun
  • Partial shade
Aspect

South–facing or West–facing or East–facing

Exposure
Exposed or Sheltered
Hardiness
H7
Botanical details
Family
Rosaceae
Native to the UK
Yes
Foliage
Deciduous
Habit
Bushy
Genus

Geum are rhizomatous perennials, occasionally spreading by stolons, with a basal rosette of pinnately lobed leaves and saucer-shaped flowers in loose clusters

Name status

Correct

Plant range
Europe, Asia, America

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How to grow

Cultivation

A moisture-loving perennial that will tolerate most soils, rich in organic matter, in sun or even a certain amount of shade. Divide every few years to avoid congestion

Propagation

Propagate by seed in pots in a cold frame in winter or propagate by division in spring or autumn

Suggested planting locations and garden types
  • Cottage and informal garden
  • Wildlife gardens
  • Underplanting of roses and shrubs
Pruning

Cut back the old stems after flowering

Pests

Can suffer from leaf miners and sawflies

Diseases

Occasionally suffers from powdery mildews

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