Geum macrophyllum Willd.
General: perennial herb, stems 30-70 cm tall, spreading-
stiff-hairy or somewhat bristly-hairy, usually also finely
soft-hairy and often strongly glandular at least above, from
a short rootstock.
Leaves: the basal ones several, the blades interruptedly
pinnatifid, up to 3 dm. long. Main leaflets 5-9, the terminal
one much the largest, broadly triangular-ovate to heart-
shaped, small-toothed to deeply lobed, up to 15 cm in
width, interspersed with smaller leaflets. Stem leaves 2-5,
alternate, with large leafletlike stipules.
Flowers: few to several in a somewhat asymmetrical
open cluster. Sepals sharp-pointed, bent back, 4-5 mm
long. Petals 5, yellow, ovate to rounded, 4-6 mm long.
Flowering time: April-August.
Fruits: achenes, compressed, elliptic in outline, about
3 mm long, the style bent above midlength and in 2
distinct segments, the lower segment sparsely glandular-
short-hairy, about 4 mm long, persistent, usually reddish,
hooked at the tip, the upper segment 1-1.5 mm long,
usually short-hairy, yellowish, later dropped.
Common in moist woods or meadowland or along stream
banks from the plains to subalpine areas, in w. and c. parts
of MT. Also from AK and Canada to CA and Mexico.
Medicinal plant: see below.
(click on image for full size)
(click on images for full size)
The Quinault Indians used large-leaved avens as a poultice of smashed leaves applied to cuts. The Clallam,
Quileute, Snohomish, and Bella Coola Indians made a poultice of chewed or bruised leaves applied to boils.
The Carrier Indians made a poultice of boiled leaves applied to bruises.
For internal use the Bella Coola Indians used a decoction of the root taken for stomach pain. The Hesquiat
Idians used the entire plant, including the roots, eaten as a medicine for stomach pains or excess acid.
The plant was also used for birth control and as an aid at child birth. The Chehalis Indians made a tea
of the leaves taken to avoid conception. The Hesquiat Indians chewed the young, small leaves after childbirth
to heal the womb. The Okanagan-Colville Indians made a tea of the roots taken by women after childbirth.
The Klallam and Quinault Indians chewed raw leaves during labor. The Cree Indians made a decoction of
the root with other herbs used for teething sickness.
var. macrophyllum Willd.:
Terminal segment of the basal leaves very shallowly rounded-lobed and minutely once or twice sharp-toothed. Leaflets of the stem leaves usually more nearly toothed (once or twice) than cleft. Flower stalks slightly if at all glandular. Faces of the achenes short-hairy. Mostly w. of the Cascades in our area, less common e. to w. Mont.
var. perincisum (Rydb.) Raup:
Terminal segment of the basal leaves lobed up to 1/3 or 1/2 the length and again coarsely once or twice toothed or cleft. Leaflets of the stem leaves usually shallowly cleft to deeply toothed. Flower stalks rather strongly glandular. Achenes sparsely short-hairy to hairless on the faces. Mainly e. of the crest of the Cascades and in w. and c. parts of MT.
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