Creeping Avens: How to Grow Geum Creeping Avens

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Creeping Avens

Creeping Avens

Creeping avens, otherwise known as Geum reptans, can provide a cheery supplement to any home garden. 

The yellow blooms grow as a natural ground cover and thrive well in smaller areas with regular maintenance.

What are Geum Reptans?

A member of the rose family, Geum reptans (syn. Sieversia reptans) is a low-growing perennial plant that produces buttery, yellow blooms in the late spring or summer climate.

Eventually, the flowers wilt and develop attractive fuzzy, pink seedheads.

Also known as the creeping avens plant for its long, red, strawberry-like runners, this hardy plant is native to the mountain regions of Central Asia and Europe.

How to Grow Geum Creeping Avens

Apparently, the creeping avens plant is suitable for growing USDA plant hardiness zones 4 through 8.

Some sources say the plant is hardy only to zone 6, while others say it is tough enough for climates as low as zone 2.

Either way, the growth of this plant appears to be relatively short-lived.

In the wild, creeping avens prefer rocky, gravelly conditions. In the home garden, it does well in gritty, well-drained soil.

Look for a location in full sunlight, although afternoon shade is beneficial in warmer climates.

Plant seeds directly in the garden after all danger of frost has passed and daytime temperatures reach 68 F. (20 C.)

Alternatively, start seeds indoors six to nine weeks ahead of time. Seeds usually germinate in 21 to 28 days, but they may take much longer.

Creeping Avens Care

When caring for Geum reptans, water now and then during hot, dry weather.

Creeping avens plants are relatively drought-tolerant and don’t require a lot of moisture.

Deadhead wilted blooms regularly to promote continued blooming.

Cut plants back after blooming to refresh and rejuvenate the plant. Divide every two or

three years.

The perennial Geum reptans L. (Rosaceae) is an outcrossing clonal rosette plant distributed from the Central Alps eastwards to the Carpathian Mountains and Macedonia.

The species preferentially on moist moraines and alluvial soils of glacier forelands, on screes, and mountain ridges, preferring lime deficient rocks between 1,950 m and 3,800.

Geum reptans is one of the original pioneers invading protocols after glacier retreat. Individual plants are long-lived and consist of clumps of one to many rosettes attached to a
taproot.

The attached rosettes depend on the taproot, and fragmentation does not occur or is extremely rare. With ongoing succession, grasses and dwarf shrubs dominate the vegetation, and in late-successional stages, G. reptans are frequently outcompeted and never found in completely closed grasslands.

Individual plants reproduce in early summer by seeds and by vegetatively produced daughter rosettes.

The clonal daughter rosettes (ramets) are formed at the above-ground stolons and produce adventitious roots. Hermaphroditic, predominantly fly-pollinated flowers form seeds.

At the end of summer, stolons, daughter rosettes that could not establish, and the leaves of adult plants die back. The diameter of a clonal patch usually does not exceed four meters.
The age at first reproduction largely depends on environmental conditions and varies among populations.

In an alpine pioneer species of glacier forelands such as G. reptans, even tiny populations have a high persistence. Still, the chance of establishing new populations
in empty habitats is low.

This is the case because seed dispersal over larger distances is rare because of a low seed establishment rate. Many seeds at one time or a constant seed rain are necessary to colonize empty habitats.

As a second consequence of the limited dispersal distances, small populations of G. reptans need to have a high population growth rate (, \) to occupy the open space of a newly colonized glacier foreland and follow the retreating glacier.

Consider Health Benefits

The benefits of growing these flowers don’t stop in your garden.

They seem to have significant health gain as well!

In Austria, people use it in traditional medicine.

These flowers are used as a tea and allegedly treat gout, infections, fever, and herbalist and treat diarrhea, heart disease, halitosis, and mouth ulcers.

However, before you decide to try it, consult first with your Doctor.