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Wood Avens

A very common flower of woodland and shady hedgerows.



  • Wood Avens: herb Benedict

    Post date: Wednesday, 18 March, 2015 - 00:00

    Although it may not look like at first sight, wood avens (Geum urbanum) is a member of the rose family. On closer inspection the five petals on the flower and the leaves growing in groups of three make this fact a little more obvious. It is, however, a far cry from the roses you may have in your garden! Many of the rose family are simple flowers, just like wood avens, and it shows just how much we humans can manipulate species by selective breeding and cross breeding of plants and animals.

    Wood avens is, as its name implies, a flower of woodland. It thrives in shady places so woodland rides and woodland edges are ideal for it, so too hedgerows. It is quite common in such situations and it flowers from May through until late August, possibly in to September. I suppose it is a bit of an ungainly plant, growing quite tall at up to two feet high and so it does tend to sprawl a bit. It may not look much overall but close up that flower is really quite attractive.

    This flower is also called herb Bennet which I presume is a corruption of another name for it, Saint Benedict's Herb (herb Benedict --> herb Bennet?). However, I have been unable to establish what connection it has with Saint Benedict. It is used in various herbal remedies but its effectiveness has not been scientifically proven apparently.



Common Name Wood Avens
Alternative Name(s) Herb Bennet
Scientific Name Geum urbanum
Species Group Rose Family Rosaceae
Interest Level
Look for
Identification Notes
Primary Habitat
Family Rose family - Rosaceae
Status very common
Flower Colour Group Yellow
  • 05 - May
  • 06 - June
  • 07 - July
  • 08 - August
  • 09 - September
Preferred Environment
Look for Medium straggly pant with yellow flower where there are gaps between the petals
Additional Identification Notes
Similar Species

The records for this species have been organised into reports, charts, maps and photos. Click a pic below to see the detail:

Notebook Distribution Map Sites List Some Charts Some Photographs Recent Records Guidance Notes

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Rose Family Rosaceae