Geum rossii : Ross's Aven


Scientific Name:

Kingdom: Plantae


Class: Dicoteldonae (two seed-leaves)

Family: Rosaceae (Rose Family)

Genera: Geum (Avens) (Lat. Ancient latin name for these plants several origins have been suggested.)

Species: rossii (Named for Sir James Clark Ross, a British Arctic and Antarctic explorer)

English Name(s):

Ross's Aven,

First Nation Names:



  • Herbaceous (not woody) plants from subligneous (almost woody) rhizomes (rootstralk).
  • Base of plant densely covered by marcescnet (dried) remains of old leaf bases.
  • Stems erect, 10-28cm tall, at first low but elongating in fruit, with 1-3 small leaves below flowers.


  • Mostly basal.
  • 6-10cm long, erect
  • Pinnately divided, with about 7 pairs of leaflets plus a terminal leaflet.
  • Leaflet cuneate in shape. Margins variously toothed
  • Terminal leaflet simmilar to the lateral ones.

Reproductive Parts:

  • Flowers one or two, showy. 2-3cm in diameter.
  • Sepals 5 alternating with small sepal-like bracts.
  • Petals 5 yellow, 1cm or more long, longer than sepals, tips more or less notched.
  • Stamens (male parts) numerous.
  • Pistils (female parts) numerous, 1-cavitied.
  • Styles long, sharply curved or hooked, feathery and persistent (not falling off) on fruit.


  • Fruit is a seed-like achene (nutlet), with short stiff hairs, born on a dry, cone-shaped receptacle (base).
  • styles (tip) not much elongated in fruit, not plumose (feahtery).

Not to Be Confused With:

  • The other Geums (Avens). Geum macrophyllum (Large-leaf Aven) can be distinguished by the large terminal lobes on its leaves and more numerous flowers. Geum glaciale (Glacier Aven) can be distinguished by its hairy leaves and stem and larger flowers.



Life Cycle:

Seasonal Cycle:

  • Plants deciduous (dieing back) from rhizomes (rootstalk).
  • Blooms in mid-July.


Animal Uses:


  • Calcareous clay or gravels in moist tundra.
  • common in solifluction lobes.





  • 1tbsp of chopped roots boiled in 250ml milk or water maked a tea taken for dysentry. 500-750ml in a day sipped over several hours is usually needed.
  • 2tbsp boiled for 20 minutes in 1 liter of water and drunk in small dosses for 2-3 days is said to be good for uterine bleeding, excessive menstral bleeding, and middle of the month spotting.
  • 5ml of dried plant material boiled in 250ml water makes a tea that is drunk between meals to relieve inflamation and irritability of the stomach lining.


  • Rootstocks can be boiled to make a weak tea.

Traditional Gwich'in:





          Traditional Other:


          • When kept in the house Avens are thought to render the devil powerless there.



            • In England roots were marinated in wine and eaten as a remedy for heart trouble.
            • Roots were sometimes mixed in ale as a stomach medicine.


            • Rootstocks are eaten raw, usually with fat, by the Siberian Eskimos.


            Plants in bloom

            Bright yellow flowers

            Pinnately divided leaves

            Plants post blooming

            Illustration from: Illustrated flora of BC

            Range Maps

            World Range: Amphi-beringian; In N.A. from AK, YT and into mountains of NWT; disjunct to Melville and Ellesmere Islands.

            Prov/State Abrev. List

            In Yukon: In unglaciated mountians of Yukon.

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