Geum laciniatum Murray

Rough Avens

Geum laciniatum plant

Family - Rosaceae

Stem - To 1 m, ascending to erect, often arching, densely pubescent with spreading hairs.

Geum_laciniatum_stemStem and node with stipule.

Leaves - Basal and alternate. Basal leaves petiolate, usually pinnately compound with 3-7 leaflets. Cauline leaves progressively smaller, becoming sessile, ternately compound or deeply lobed. Stipules 7-15 mm long, lobed. Leaflets to 10 cm, broad and irregular, variously shaped, surfaces hairy.


Inflorescence - Open panicles with relatively straight branches, not drooping. Flower stalks conspicuously pubescent with spreading hairs.


Calyx - Sepals 5, to 1 cm long, alternating with 5 shorter, narrower bractlets.

Geum_laciniatum_calyxSepals and bractlets.

Flower - Petals 5, similar in size or slightly shorter than sepals, white, sometimes becoming cream colored with age. Stamens numerous. Apical portion of style 1.0-1.5 mm long, bristly-pubescent near base.

Geum_laciniatum_flower2New flower.

Geum_laciniatum_flowerAging flower.

Fruits - Main body 3-5 mm long, flattened, glabrous or more commonly pubescent with minute and/or bristly hairs, the persistent stylar beak 4-6 mm long, usually sparsely hairy toward the base.

Geum_laciniatum_fruitsFruiting head.

Flowering - May - July.

Habitat - Bottomland forests, wet prairies, streambanks, slough margins, marshes.

Origin - Native to the U.S.

Other info. - This species is found principally in the northeastern U.S. and into Canada, with Missouri being near the southwestern extent of its natural range. In appearance the plant is similar to the more common species Geum canadense and Geum virginianum, but can be distinguished from those species by the conspicuous spreading hairs on its flower stalks. This character can easily be seen on the above photo of the fruiting head. As with all species of Geum, the fruiting heads are distinctive clusters of achenes, with the persistent styles having kinked joints near their tips.

Photographs taken at Chloe Lowry Marsh Natural Area, Mercer County, MO, 6-15-2014 and 6-17-2018 (SRTurner).