Geum - Encyclopedia




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GEUM, in botany, a genus of hardy perennial herbs (natural order Rosaceae) containing about thirty species, widely distributed in temperate and arctic regions. The erect flowering shoots spring from a cluster of radical leaves, which are deeply cut or lobed, the largest division being at the top of the leaf. The flowers are borne singly on long stalks at the end of the stem or its branches. They are white, yellow or red in colour, and shallowly cup-shaped. The fruit consists of a number of dry achenes, each of which bears a hook formed from the persistent lower portion of the style, and admirably adapted for ensuring distribution. Two species occur in Britain under the popular name "avens." G. urbanum is a very common hedge-bank plant with small yellow flowers; G. rivale (water avens) is a rarer plant found by streams, and has larger yellow flowers an inch or more across. The species are easy to cultivate and well adapted for borders or the rock-garden. They are propagated by seeds or by division. The most popular garden species are G. chiloense and its varieties, G. coccineum and G. montanum.

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