Very common anywhere shady and we can’t think of any woods or hedgerows that don’t have some growing somewhere.
|Common Names||Wood Avens, Herb Bennet, Colewort, St Benedicts Herb|
|Scientific Name||Geum urbanum|
A little like strawberry leaves growing in a rosette. The leaf stalk has a downy three lobed terminal leaf and then smaller single opposite leaves lessening in size towards the stem base.
The seeds are in the form of a burr which you have probably found attached to your trousers, socks and dog after a woodland walk.
A fairly distinctive plant, especially when flowering or in fruit.
The roots smell of cloves but the mud must be removed first as mud has a strong smell.
The leaves have a neutral taste but the roots taste of cloves.
The leaves when young can be added to salads or stews or deep fried where they puff up a bit like prawn crackers.
The root is best picked, washed and used fresh but can be dried to store for later use, it loses some of its intensity but is still strong enough for use.
Herbalists used to use it to treat poison, dog bites and liver disease, herbalists now use it for the treatment of gout, diarrhoea, heart disease and ulcers.
Used to mask the smell of clothes when people didn’t bathe as much and for detering moths.
Here the aphids love it much more than my beans and other crops so really helps the organic grower as a sacrificial plant
This is an amazing plant species. It has everything going for it to propagate. Burrs, sticky pods, deep sturdy roots. Unfortunately, it is over-running my garden, choking out iris and other plants. It’s spread out into grassy areas. I don’t want to kill it off (unless I have to) but does anyone have suggestions on how to control the spread?
It will be Powdery Mildew, it won’t spread to other plants, although they may get it themselves.
Whenever plants get it I just chop them down or pull them up, depending on the plant. With Wood Avens I pull them up as there are always lots of seeds already in the garden and I’m not keen on them anyway.
My Dad’s garden is absolute smothered in this but unfortunately it all appears to be covered in mould. Will all of it have to be removed? What’s it diseased with and will it damage other plants. All of it is diseased in the same way.
Are the seeds edible?
The seeds are edible but have a hooked barb on the end, I don’t recommend eating them.
Good thorough info thank you.
I have a lot of this in my garden I will give to anyone who wants to dig it out!
I’m in North Hertfordshire.
Quite easy to dig out if the soil is wet but if dry its really hard!
Is it something that can be carried by the birds?, I have just discovered some in my back garden and I know that I never planted it.
It one of the most common plants in the UK and spreads easily. They produce ‘burs’ which stick to animals and clothes and I’m sure birds spread them as well.
The main reason I keep them at bay in my garden is that once a burr finds its way into the ear of your pet it’ll take a trip to the vet to get it out.