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Close-up of the cheerful yellow flowers and spiky immature fruits of large-leaved avens (Geum macrophyllum). One of 100+ species of Pacific Northwest native plants available at Sparrowhawk Native Plants, Native Plant Nursery in Portland, Oregon.
Close-up of the cheerful yellow flowers of large-leaved avens (Geum macrophyllum) in the foreground with pink checkermallow flowers (Sidalcea sp) in the background. One of 100+ species of Pacific Northwest native plants available at Sparrowhawk Native Plants, Native Plant Nursery in Portland, Oregon.
Yellow flowers and immature fruits of large-leaved avens (Geum macrophyllum). One of 100+ species of Pacific Northwest native plants available at Sparrowhawk Native Plants, Native Plant Nursery in Portland, Oregon.
Close-up of small bee pollinating the cheerful yellow flower of Oregon native wildflower Large-leaved avens (Geum macrophyllum). One of 100+ species of Pacific Northwest native plants available at Sparrowhawk Native Plants, Native Plant Nursery in Portland, Oregon.
Cheerful yellow flowers of large-leaved avens (Geum macrophyllum) and pink checkermallow flowers (Sidalcea sp). One of 100+ species of Pacific Northwest native plants available at Sparrowhawk Native Plants, Native Plant Nursery in Portland, Oregon.

Large-leaved Avens (Seeds)

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Geum macrophyllum

Large-leaved Avens (aka Oregon Avens) bears a resemblance to its close relative, cinquefoil (Potentilla), with its bright-yellow, 5-petaled flowers held high on its elongated flowering stocks. Its attractive, robust foliage is pinnately divided at its base and is larger and less divided as you move up towards the flower clusters. Interestingly, its sunny yellow flower petals have a black dot at their base that we cannot see – it is only visible under ultraviolet light. However, pollinator insects can see it and it helps guide them to their prize! This trait in plants - sometimes visible to us and sometimes not – is known as a nectar guide. This wildflower takes readily to garden life and is an easy one to grow. (Willamette Wildlings)

  • Plant type/canopy layer: deciduous, perennial, herbaceous plant
  • Size at maturity: Up to 3 ft
  • Light requirements: full sun to partly shady
  • Moisture requirements: dry to moist soil, well-drained soil
  • Bloom time: mid summer
  • Growth rate/ease: moderate growth rate, easy to grow 
  • Wildlife support: important plant for pollinators
  • Native habitat/range: grows in moist woods and woodland edges, streambanks and riparian areas, meadows, tolerates some seasonal flooding. Portland Plant List - yes 
  • Special features & uses: important plant for pollinators

Gardening with Large-Leaved Avens: These joyful yellow wildflowers are arguably the easiest native wildflower seeds to grow in a garden setting, and are known to be reliable self-seeders year after year. They do great when mixed in with other wildflowers to provide bright pops of yellow in a pollinator meadow.  In Sparrowhawk's garden, we like pairing the Large-leaved Avens with pink blooming Checkermallow flowers for a bright and showy low-maintenance display in June and July.

Seed Sowing Instructions: 

  • Sowing in fall or early spring is ideal, to take advantage of winter rains.
  • Planting depth: 1/4” - just to cover
  • Stratification: likely none, but a longer period of cooler temps may enhance germination.
  • Each seed packet contains approx 425 seeds

Photo Credits 1-3: Nikkie West, Sparrowhawk Native Plants

Photo Credits 4-5: Tracy Cozine, Sparrowhawk Native Plants