Index
Practical ecological knowledge for the temperate reader.

GEUM Sp. - Avens

"Perennial herb from thick caudex or elongate rhizome. Stem: ascending to erect, generally hairy. Leaf: generally basal, generally odd-1-pinnately compound, upper cauline simple or not; leaflets lobed, alternately large, small, teeth uneven. Inflorescence: generally cyme, open; pedicel bractlets 0. Flower: hypanthium shallow, bractlets generally 5; stamens > 20; pistils many, ovary superior, continuous to style. Fruit: achene, ovoid to fusiform, +- flat; style elongated, persistent. 40–50 species: generally northern temperate, arctic. (Latin: ancient name)" [Jepson]

"Although the differentiation of the gynaecium usually terminates the reproductive axis, the axis may sometimes continue to grow and produce a second flower, an aberration not uncommonly seen in Geum. Abnormal growths of this kind are usually the consequence of mutations. Such mutations, causing the appearance of an organ in an unaccustomed position, are termed homoeotic, and the phenomenon in general, homoeosis." [GPOD]


Local Species;

  1. Geum aleppicum - Yellow avens [E-flora]
  2. Geum calthifolium - Caltha-leaved avens [E-flora][PCBC]
  3. Geum macrophyllum - Large-leaved avens [E-flora][PCBC][TSFTK]
  4. Geum schofieldii - Queen Charlotte Avens [PCBC][E-flora]

Geum macrophyllum

Yellow Avens - Geum aleppicum

Origin Status: Native [E-flora-1]

Habitat / Range
"Moist woods, thickets and meadows in the lowland and montane zones; frequent throughout BC east of the Coast-Cascade Mountains, rare on S Vancouver Island; circumboreal, E to NF and S to CA, NB and PA; Eurasia." [IFBC-E-flora-1] "Thickets and grassy places in lowland and low mountains of N. Japan[58]. Europe, Asia, N. America." [PFAF-1]

Synonym

Identification
"Geum aleppicum is a PERENNIAL growing to 0.6 m (2ft).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 3 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from Jun to September, and the seeds ripen from Jul to October. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil." [PFAF-1]

General: "Perennial herb from a stout rhizome; stems erect, 30-100 cm tall, simple, 1 to several, tufted, coarse-hairy." [IFBC-E-flora-1]


Caltha-Leaved Avens - Geum calthifolium

Origin Status: Native [E-flora-2]

Habitat / Range
"Bogs, wet rocky slopes and meadows in the lowland to alpine zones; infrequent on the coastal islands and adjacent mainland; amphiberingian, N to AK; E Asia." [IFBC-E-flora-2]

Synonyms

General: "Perennial herb from a branching rhizome and stout stem-base covered with reddish-brown-hairy scales; stems erect, 10-30 cm tall, yellowish-spreading-hairy." [IFBC-E-flora-2]


Large-leaved avens - Geum macrophyllum

Origin Status: Native [E-flora]

Synonyms

Identification

SUBTAXA PRESENT IN BC

"Geum japonicum is a PERENNIAL growing to 0.6 m (2ft).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 7 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from Jun to July, and the seeds ripen from Jul to August. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil." [PFAF-2]

General: "Perennial herb from a short rhizome and stout stem-base, stems erect, 30-100 cm tall, simple, 1 to several, coarse-spreading-hairy." [IFBC-E-flora-3]

Notes:
Two subspecies occur in BC:
1. "Terminal segment of basal leaves shallowly rounded-lobed and minutely toothed; flower-shoots and -stalks commonly without glands; plants from west of Coast-Cascade Mountains..................... ssp. macrophyllum"
1. "Terminal segment of basal leaves deeply lobed and coarsely toothed or incised; flower-shoots and -stalks commonly strongly glandular; plants from east of Coast-Cascade Mountains.......................... ssp. perincisum (Rydb.) Hult." [IFBC-E-flora-3]

USDA Flower Colour: Yellow
USDA Blooming Period: Late Spring
USDA Fruit/Seed characteristics: Colour: Brown. Present over the Summer [USDA-E-flora-3]

Habitat / Range
"Moist meadows, fields, clearings, roadsides, streambanks and open forests in the lowland to montane zones; common throughout BC, except in driest parts of interior; amphiberingian, N to AK and NT, E to ON and S to MX; E Asia." [IFBC-E-flora-3]
"Woods and thickets in hills and low mountains all over Japan[58]. N. America, E. Asia."[PFAF-2]

Ecological Indicator Information
"A shade-intolerant, submontane to subalpine, Asian and North American forb distributed in the Pacific, Cordilleran, and Atlantic regions. Occurs on fresh to very moist, nitrogen-rich soils (Moder and Mull humus forms), often with a fluctuating groundwater table. Widespread in subalpine boreal, temperate, and cool mesothermal climates; its occurrence decreases with increasing elevation. Usually inhabits exposed mineral soil; sporadic in open-canopy, broad-leaved forests on water­receiving (floodplain, seepage, and stream­edge) sites; scattered in early-seral communi­ties. A nitrophytic species characteristic of disturbed sites." (IPBC) [E-flora-3]

G. japonicum;


Queen Charlotte Avens - Geum schofieldii

Origin Status: Native [E-flora-4]

Habitat / Range
"Wet rock crevices in the lowland to subalpine zones; rare on the Queen Charlotte Islands and NW Vancouver Island; endemic." [IFBC-E-flora-4]

Identification
Red-Listed in B.C. [E-flora-4]

General: "Perennial herb from a short rhizome and stout stem-base covered with coarse fibres; stems erect, 10-30 cm tall." [IFBC-E-flora-4]

Notes: "Endemic to British Columbia. Considered by some authors to be of hybrid origin between G. rossii and G. calthifolium." [IFBC-E-flora-4]


Food Use

Other Uses

Medicinal Uses

Activities

Phytochemicals

"Extensive studies of Geum genus have led to the identification of many secondary metabolites, such as terpenoids, flavonoids, tannins, and phenylpropanoids.... Geum genus contains phenols, saccharides, alkanes, steroidal saponins, and fatty acids,..." [Cheng et al., 2011] "In Geum L. species, eugenol is coupled with vicianose (glucose + arabinose)." [Bajaj MAPS 5] "Gemin A (8), characteristic of Geum species". [Chu PP]

Cultivation

G. Aleppicum, G. japonicum; "Easily grown in any moderately good garden soil that is well-drained[1]. Prefers a soil rich in organic matter[200]. Hybridizes freely with other members of this genus[200]." [PFAF-1]

Propagation

G. Aleppicum, G. japonicum; "Seed - sow spring or autumn in a cold frame[200]. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in the summer' Division in spring or autumn. This should be done every 3 - 4 years in order to maintain the vigour of the plant[200]. Very easy, larger clumps can be replanted direct into their permanent positions, though it is best to pot up smaller clumps and grow them on in a cold frame until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the spring." [PFAF-1]


Use of Geum Sp.

"A number of Geum species were used medicinally in North America, Europe, and Asia. Geum rivale (Water Avens) and Geum urbane, for example, have both used for inflammations and infection of the skin and digestive system (PDR 2000e; Mills, Bone 2000). During the 1800s, Geum spp. were used as remedies for gastrointestinal ailments and hemorrhage (Felter, Lloyd 1898)." [PHVBH]

Drug Interaction: "A recent report of a possible drug interaction in a kidney transplant patient in Chile is worth mention. Apparently, use of a Geum remedy was not disclosed to the surgeons, and the patient’s cyclosporin level was increased despite having taken the dosage as directed. This was eventually attributed to the patient’s consumption of Geum chiloense; cyclosporin levels returned to normal when the herb was discontinued (Duclos, Goecke 2001)." [PHVBH]


References


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