The avens are members of the rose family. They produce brilliant flowers and plants with attractive leaves coated with silky down. Geum is the original Latin name for the herb Bennet (Geum urbanum), a plant with an astringent root once used in medicine. Most of the garden forms are hybrids of two or more species.
Description of avens: Avens have clumps of attractive, lobed, shiny green leaves covered with silky down on hairy stems. The plants grow to 2 feet tall and bear single flowers about 11/2 inch across. Flower colors are red, yellow, or white. They bloom in spring and summer.
Growing avens: Avens are plants for cool summers. They prefer full sun and a well-drained but moist soil with plenty of humus. The plants should be divided every two years. In areas subject to below zero temperatures without snow cover, these plants should be mulched. Ease of care: Easy.
Propagating avens: By division in spring or by seed.
Uses for avens: Avens are attractive in the front of a border and in a rock garden where the bright flowers are very showy.
Avens related species: Prairie smoke (Geum triflorum) has felted, ferny leaves and dusty rose flowers. It tolerates heat and cold.
Avens related varieties: Mrs. Bradshaw is a double, brilliant scarlet and Lady Stratheden is a warm yellow.
Scientific name for avens: Geum chiloense