Water avens

Water Avens

©Philip Precey

Water avens

Scientific name: Geum rivale
Look for Water avens in damp habitats, such as riversides, wet woodlands and wet meadows. It has nodding, purple-and-orange flowers that hang on delicate, purple stems.

Species information


Height: up to 50cm

Conservation status


When to see

May to September


Water avens is a locally common plant that inhabits damp places, such as riversides, wet woodlands and damp meadows. A close relative of Wood avens, its nodding, bell-shaped flowers are multi-coloured and, perhaps, a shade prettier. They appear from May to September and are followed by feathery seed heads.

How to identify

The cup-shaped flowers of Water avens have dark red sepals that surround orangey-pink petals and a cluster of yellow stamens; they hang delicately on long, purple stems. The round leaves are usually found at the base of the stem.


Mainly found in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Locally common in parts of England.

Did you know?

Moisture-loving plants, such as Water avens and Ragged-robin, will thrive in a bog garden, attracting dragonflies, bees and butterflies, which, in turn, bring hungry frogs, toads and other animals.

How people can help

The Wildlife Trusts manage many wetland nature reserves for the benefit of the wildlife they support. You can help by supporting your local Trust and becoming a member; you'll find out about exciting wildlife news, events on your doorstep and volunteering opportunities, and will be helping local wildlife along the way.