Avens; Wood and Water

Water avens (Geum rivale)

Wood avens (Geum urbanum)

Two common plants of spring are water and wood avens. Wood avens (Geum urbanum) likes damp shaded places which includes woodlands but it is also common along hedges; it also goes by the name of herb bennet.  Water avens (Geum rivale), as the name suggests, likes damp, though not very wet, places; it also likes shaded banks and the ditches along hedges.  So, the two species often grow quite close together.  Wood avens starts flowering a little later than the water variety but even so their flowering period overlaps and it is, therefore, not surprising that they hybridise.

Wood and water avens hybrid

The wood-water avens hybrid, as with many crosses, can be more showy than either of its parents.  They tend to have the stature of the water avens but the more upright stance of the wood variety.  The petals are often more yellow that the pale salmon pink of the water avens and the flower takes on the openness of the wood variety.  However, there can be many variations on this theme but the result is always a flower that looks not quite like the species from which it comes.

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About thehutts

The Hutt Family from Northumberland
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