Water Avens

Geum rivale

Benoîte des ruisseaux

The water aven contains pinkish, purple or yellow bell-shaped flowers, and dark red or dark purple stems that contain many hairs. Mass in borders or rock gardens. Foliage makes an attractive ground cover after bloom.

It is deer resistent. Hybrids are becoming increasingly popular.

If boiled, its roots yield a liquid that tastes faintly like chocolate. The roots can also be made into an effective remedy for diarrhea when taken with milk and sugar.

Natural habitats include stream sides, pond edges, damp deciduous woodland and hay meadows. The water avens attract butterflies and bumblebees. It will thrive in bogs, attracting bees, butterflies and dragonflies, which will bring in toads, frogs and other hungry animals.

Its natural habitat is, Meadows, stream and pond edge.

Also known as drooping avens, water flower and Indian chocolate, water avens are useful as a ground cover for cool wet areas where many other plants often struggle. It is a perennial that blooms in late spring or early summer.

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Planting Geum rivale

Propogate by division in spring or autumn.

Companion plant suggestions include Consider Campanula, Delphinium, Daylily as companion plants

Caring for Water Avens

Prefers moist, fertile soils in cool climates. Likes boggy and swampy conditions. Not always reliably winter hardy in areas north of Zone 5. Deadheading spent flowers will encourage additional bloom.

It is happiest in Loam and Sandy soils

In terms of water, Water Avens needs Average water requirement, but keep soil moist throughout growth and bloom season.

Pruning Benoîte des ruisseaux

Did you know that Purple Avens don’t require any pruning? Just cut the faded shoots off when they start to show and the perennials will flower beautifully. To keep it from self-seeding, it’s best to remove the seed heads


Although they are mostly pest-free, keep an eye out for leaf miners, saw flies and powdery mildew.

Native Americans used the tea made from the roots to treat cough and colds. Powdered root was once used as astringent for hemorrhage and fevers.