Water Avens (Nodding Avens, Drooping Avens)

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  • Common Name: Water Avens (Nodding Avens, Drooping Avens)
  • Latin Name: Geum rivale; Geum rivale x urbanum; Geum x intermedium
  • Family Name: Roseaceae

Water Avens is not toxic, but it is high in tannins and so might be unpalatable to tortoises.  It is closely related to Wood Avens, and you can recognise Water Avens by the bowed head and peach or pale red petals and dusky red sepals of its bell-shaped flowers.   As the flowers mature and seeds develop, the drooping flowers gradually straighten and point upwards.  It does, however, cross-breed easily with Wood Avens, and the resulting flowers have petals that are more yellow-orange in colour and sometimes slightly looser in form.  

Particular varieties are cultivated for the garden, but it can also be found growing in the wild along riversides, ponds, wet woodlands, and damp meadows.

It should only be offered sparingly, as it contains tannins, and too much tannin can inhibit the absorption of iron and impede digestion.  See also Wood Avens

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