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Linnaeus named the Geum genus in 1753.

Geum aleppicum

Geum macrophyllum

Geum aleppicum and Geum macrophyllum
Rosaceae (Rose Family)

Foothills, montane. Meadows. Summer.
Haviland Lake Trail, July 1, 2005 and Scotch Creek Road, July 1, 2004.

Two key characteristics separate these two look-alike Geums:

1) As the photographs at left indicate, the terminal leaflet of the basal leaves of G. aleppicum have a wedge-shaped base whereas the base of G. macrophyllum is flattened, cordate, or rounded. 

2) As the photographs at the bottom of the page show, the seed heads of G. aleppicum are either glabrous or hairy; those of G. macrophyllum are dotted with glandular hairs.

Geum aleppicum

Geum aleppicum

Geum aleppicum (Yellow Avens)
Rosaceae (Rose Family)

Foothills, montane. Meadows. Summer.
Haviland Lake Trail, July 1, 2005 and Scotch Creek Road, July 1, 2004.

In the midst of wet meadow greenery one can often find the tall and slender Geum aleppicum with its serrated three parted leaves. Geum aleppicum and Geum macrophyllum, members of the Rose Family, are often taken for Buttercups on the basis of their small, bright, yellow flowers.  Both Geums are found most commonly in moist montane habitats.

"Geum" is a Latinized version of an ancient Greek word, perhaps "geus" (or "geuo"), meaning, "to give flavor" as some plants given this name were commonly used for flavoring. "Aleppicum" means "from Aleppo, Syria".

 

Geum macrophyllum
Geum macrophyllum
Geum macrophyllum (Large Leaf Avens)
Rosaceae (Rose Family)
Montane, subalpine. Meadows. Summer.
Above: Wetlands near Little Bear Trail, June 26, 2015.
Left: Priest Lake, July 15, 2008.

The enlarged leaf ("macrophyllum") of the basal leaves sets this Geum apart.  Both Geums shown are very slender plants, often buried in meadow grasses and easily passed by, but the pictured plant at left sits out in an open meadow with many other Geum macrophyllum plants as lush as this one.

Geum macrophyllum

 

Geum macrophyllum
Rosaceae (Rose Family)

Foothills, montane, subalpine. Meadows. Summer.
Haviland Lake Trail, July 1, 2005;
Navajo Lake Trail, August 6, 2014;
and Turkey Creek Trail, June 26, 2007. 

The seed-head of Geums (and relatives such as Drymocallis), catch more attention than their yellow flowers.  Several hundred styles make up these swirly, prickly-looking, maturing seed heads.  The very fresh seed head of Geum macrophyllum is at top left; to its right is the slightly more mature Geum macrophyllum seed head.

Below, we can see hundreds of dots -- tiny, glandular hairs -- along the lower portion of each style.  As the last photograph below shows, this same area is hairy (although it can be glabrous) on G. aleppicum.

Geum aleppicum
Geum aleppicum
Rosaceae (Rose Family)

Foothills, montane, subalpine. Meadows. Summer.
Ryman Creek Trail, September 3, 2015.

Range map © John Kartesz,
Floristic Synthesis of North America

State Color Key

Species present in state and native
Species present in state and exotic
Species not present in state

County Color Key

Species present and not rare
Species present and rare
Species extirpated (historic)
Species extinct
Species noxious
Species exotic and present
Native species, but adventive in state
Eradicated
Questionable presence

Range map for Geum aleppicum

Range map for Geum macrophyllum