Fine Art

Geum rivale

Geum rivale, Photo: Michael Lahanas

Classification System: APG IV

Superregnum: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Cladus: Angiosperms
Cladus: Eudicots
Cladus: Core eudicots
Cladus: Rosids
Cladus: Eurosids I
Ordoo: Rosales

Familia: Rosaceae
Subfamilia: Rosoideae
Tribus: Colurieae
Genus: Geum
Species: Geum rivale

Geum rivale L., Sp. Pl. 1: 501. 1753.

Lectotype: Europe. Herb. Clifford: 195, Geum 2 (BM) (Jonsell & Jarvis 2002: 74)


Bernoullia rivale (L.) Neck., Elem. Bot. 2: 97. 1790.
Caryophyllata aquatica Lam., Fl. Franç. 3: 123. 1779, nom. illeg.
Caryophyllata nutans Moench, Methodus 661. 1794, nom. illeg.
Caryophyllata rivalis (L.) Scop., Fl. Carniol., ed. 2. 1: 365. 1771.
Geum nutans Crantz, Stirp. Austr. Fasc., ed. 2: 70. 1769, nom. illeg.
Geum rivale subsp. eu-rivale Á.Löve & D.Löve, Rit Landbúnaoard. Atvinnud. Háskólans, B no. 3: 109. 1948, nom. inval.
Anemone dodecaphylla Krock., Fl. Siles. 2(1): 235. 1790.
Bernoullia hybrida (L.) Raf., Autik. Bot.: 173. 1840.
Geum hybridum Wulfen ex Jacq., Misc. Austriac. 2: 33. 1781.
Geum nutans Raf., nom. inval.
Geum pallidum Fisch. & C.A.Mey., Ind. Sem. Horti Petrop. 11(Suppl.): 49. 1846.
Geum rivale f. hispanicum Pau, Not. Bot. Fl. Españ. 4: 30–31. 1891.
Geum rivale f. virescens Lilja, Skanes Fl., ed. 2, l: 363. 1870.
Geum rivale subsp. islandicum Á.Löve & D.Löve, Bot. Not. 114: 53. 1961.
Geum rivale subsp. subalpinum (Neuman) Selander, Sv. Bot. Tidskr. 41: 275. 1947.
Geum rivale var. alpinum Schur, Enum. Pl. Transsilv. 185. 1866.
Geum rivale var. degeneratum Schur, Enum. Pl. Transsilv. 185. 1866.
Geum rivale var. grandifolium Scheutz, Nova Acta Regiae Soc. Sci. Upsal. 7(6): 38. 1870.
Geum rivale var. humile Scheutz, Nova Acta Regiae Soc. Sci. Upsal. 7(6): 38. 1870, nom. illeg.
Geum rivale var. lividum Chitr., Mater. k. pozn- prir Orl. Gub. 1: 577. 1904.
Geum rivale var. luxurians Tratt., Rosac. Monogr. 3: 413. 1823.
Geum rivale var. minus Ser. in DC., Prodr. 2: 552. 1825.
Geum rivale var. pallidum (Fisch. & C.A.Mey.) A.Blytt, Norges Fl. 3: 1178. 1876 , as ß pallidum.
Geum rivale var. proliferum Ser. in DC., Prodr. 2: 552. 1825.
Geum rivale var. strictum J.Norman, Nyt Mag. Naturvidensk. 6: 248. 1851.
Geum rivale var. subalpinum Neuman, Bot. Not. 1905: 261. 1905.


Geum rivale Ten. = Geum micropetalum Gasparr.
Geum rivale Bourg. ex Nyman (1878) = Geum × sudeticum Tausch


G. × aurantiacum – G. × intermedium – G. × jankae – G. × montibericum – G. × pratense – G. × pulchrum – G. × sudeticum – G. × thomasianum

Linnaeus, C. 1753. Species Plantarum. Tomus I: 501. Reference page.
Euro+Med 2006 onwards: Geum rivale in Euro+Med PlantBase – the information resource for Euro-Mediterranean plant diversity. Published online. Accessed: 2013 Mar 10.
USDA, ARS, Germplasm Resources Information Network. Geum rivale in the Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN), U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service. Accessed: 07-Oct-06.

Vernacular names
azərbaycanca: Çay çınqılotu
kaszëbsczi: Parzelnica
čeština: kuklík potoční
Cymraeg: Mapgoll Glan y Dŵr
dansk: Eng-Nellikerod
Deutsch: Bach-Nelkenwurz
English: Water Avens
español: Cariofilada acuática
eesti: Ojamõõl
suomi: Ojakellukka
français: Benoîte des ruisseaux
hornjoserbsce: Přirěčny kuklik
magyar: bókoló gyömbérgyökér
íslenska: Fjalldalafífill
lietuvių: Raudonoji žiognagė
Nederlands: Knikkend nagelkruid
norsk nynorsk: Enghumleblom
norsk: Enghumleblom
polski: kuklik zwisły
русский: Гравилат речной
davvisámegiella: Niitobiellorássi
slovenčina: kuklík potočný
slovenščina: Potočna sretena
svenska: Humleblomster
українська: Гравілат річковий
中文(简体): 紫萼路边青
中文(繁體): 紫萼路邊青
中文(臺灣): 紫萼路邊青
中文: 紫萼路边青

Geum rivale, the water avens, is a flowering plant in the genus Geum within the family Rosaceae. Other names for the plant are nodding avens, drooping avens, cure-all, water flower and Indian chocolate.[1] It is native to the temperate regions of Europe, Central Asia and parts of North America, where it is known as purple avens.[2] It grows in bogs and damp meadows,[3] and produces nodding red flowers from May to September.[4]


Geum rivale is widespread in Europe, particularly in the northern and central parts. It is found throughout the British Isles, the Faroes, Iceland, Scandinavia, the Baltic States, and much of Central Europe[5] (up to elevations of 2400 m in the Alps and 2,100 in the Carpathians).[6] It is absent from the Pannonian Basin and western France; on the Italian Peninsula it is found in scattered locations in the northern and central Apennines,[5] while on the Iberian Peninsula it is restricted between 1000 and 2200 m in the Cantabrians, Pyrenees, the Iberian and Central Systems, and the mountains of Sierra Nevada and Sierra de Cazorla in the south.[7] It is found in the mountains of the Balkan Peninsula[5] (in Bulgaria its altitudinal range is 1200–2100 m),[8] the Caucasus, northern Anatolia and northwestern Iran. It is also native to northern Ukraine and the central and northern parts of European Russia,[6] Western Siberia up to the Sayan–Angara region in the east, as well as to parts of Central Asia (the Dzungaria and the Tarbagatai areas and Tian Shan).[9]

Geum rivale is also native to a broad region in Canada and the United States.[10]

The plant is a native perennial of slow-draining or wet soils and can tolerate mildly acidic to calcareous conditions in full sun or under partial shade. Habitats include stream sides, pond edges, damp deciduous woodland and hay meadows.[11]

It is a component of purple moor grass and rush pastures is a type of Biodiversity Action Plan habitat in the UK. It occurs on poorly drained neutral and acidic soils of the lowlands and upland fringe. It is found in the South West of England, especially in Devon.

Geum rivale is pollinated primarily by bees, less often by flies and beetles. As the flower matures, elongation of the stamens ensures it self-fertilises if not already cross-pollinated. The flowers stigmas mature before the stamens. It begins flowering a little earlier than G. urbanum, so early pollinations will be within the gene-pool of the single species.[12] The seeds of Water Avens are burr-like, and are distributed after being caught in the coats of rabbits and other small mammals,[13] and by rhizomal growth.[11]

Geum rivale is parasitised by Podosphaera aphanis – a conidial powdery mildew.[14] Yellow spots on the living leaf may be caused by Peronospora gei – a downy mildew.[15]

Geum urbanum hybridises fairly regularly with Geum rivale as they are closely related and occur together.

In North America it is known to hybridise with Geum aleppicum (the hybrid being named Geum × aurantiacum Fries ex Scheutz), with Geum macrophyllum var. perincisum (as Geum × pervale), and with Geum macrophyllum var. macrophyllum (as Geum × pulchrum).[10]


A Modern Herbal.
"Plants Profile for Geum rivale L. (purple avens)". United States Department of Agriculture. Retrieved 2007-04-20.
"Water Avens (Purple Avens) Geum rivale". Connecticut Botanical Society. 2005-11-13.
W. Keble Martin (1972). The Concise British Flora in Colour. Book Club Associates. p. 256 pp. ISBN 0-7181-4028-1.
Kurtto, Arto; Lampinen, Raino; Junikka, Leo (2004). Atlas florae Europaeae, distribution of vascular plants in Europe. 13: Rosaceae (Spiraea to Fragaria, excl. Rubus). Helsinki: Committee for mapping the flora of Europe and Societas Biologica Fennica. p. 143. ISBN 978-951-9108-14-8.
Meusel, Hermann; Jäger, E.; Weinert, E. (1965). Vergleichende Chorologie der zentraleuropäischen Flora. [Band I]. Jena: Fischer. T532, K220.
Laínz, M. (1998). "Geum L." (PDF). Flora Iberica. Vol. 6. p. 80.
Asenov, I. (1973). "Omajniče – Geum L.". In Vǎlev, Stoju; Asenov, Ivan (eds.). Flora na Narodna Republika Bǎlgarija (in Bulgarian). Vol. V. Sofia: Bulgarian Academy of Sciences. p. 197.
Flora SSSR (in Russian). Vol. 10. Moscow/Leningrad: AN SSSR. 1941. pp. 242–3.
"Geum rivale". Flora of North America. Retrieved 22 January 2022.
Wildseeds Website.
"Biodiversity site". Archived from the original on 2007-12-02. Retrieved 2009-05-11.
"First Nature wildflowers". Archived from the original on 2008-05-16. Retrieved 2009-05-11.
Ing, B.( 1990). An Introduction to British Powdery Mildews.
Ellis, M. B. & J. P. (1997). Microfungi on Land Plants: An Identification Handbook.

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