January 23, 2017

Plant File: Geum (Avens)

I have been looking back through my flower photos this month and these bright geums really popped out at me. I planted them on a whim a couple of years ago--one of those nursery trips where I needed something in bloom and these fit the bill--and I have been so happy with them ever since.

Scientific Name: Geum (pictured here is 'Totally Tangerine')
Common Names: Avens or Grecian Rose *
Cold Hardiness: USDA zones 4-8
24-36" tall and wide
Full sun, but appreciates shade in the hottest part of the afternoon.
Wildlife: Bees and butterflies love these flowers!
Floral Design: Great for adding airy pop of color to arrangements, as each main stem cut has several blossoms at the top.

Related to strawberries (I just found out.) 
--Now that I know that, I can really see the similarity with the blossoms and the leaves. 
Blooms May-June, right during that lull between tulips and roses.
Flowers come in shades of red, orange, peach, and yellow, depending on the variety.
Once it's done blooming, you can cut it back close to the ground and it will grow new foliage.
I usually wait to do that until early spring, with the rest of my garden cleanup, though.

Mine haven't had any trouble with diseases or pests.
This one clump in my back flowerbed grew big enough that I successfully divided it in half a couple years ago.

These are such a bright spot in my flowerbeds in late spring!
I just adore them!

* I've always just called it "geum" since that's what it said on the nursery tag!
"Grecian Rose" has a nice ring to it, though.

* * * * *
I've also got a different variety to talk about briefly.

Scientific Name: Geum triflorum 
Common names: Prairie Smoke, Purple avens, Old Man's Whiskers,
USDA zones: 3-6
12-18" tall and wide

Native to the prairies of the United States.  
After the bell-shaped flowers are done, the seedheads stream up in fine, feathery pink seedheads--hence the nicknames.
Blooms May-June.
Drought tolerant--likes a hot, dry spot. 
Deer resistant (according to the websites selling them.)

I don't have any pictures of the seedheads; mine have never gotten to that point.
(Perhaps a relocation is in order!)
Look them up, though. Those seedheads are really spectacular!
Also, the seedheads last through midsummer, which would add at least another month to your enjoyment of this plant.
It makes me want to work on finding a better spot for mine this year!


  1. Both plants are new to me. I like them. I wonder how they would fare in the northeast -- must do a little more research. Thanks, Linnae. P. x

    1. I hope you can find a place for them in your garden! I have really enjoyed them.