Geum virginianum
Pale avens

Key Characteristics

Perennial forb of open oak woods; stem densely pubescent; leaves compound with three leaflets, the terminal leaflet much larger and coarsely toothed; flower petals yellow when fresh, small (2-5 mm).

Status and Rank

  • State Status: SC
  • State Rank: S1S2
  • Global Rank: G5


County NameNumber of OccurrencesYear Last Observed
St. Joseph11963
Distribution map for Geum virginianum

Updated 5/15/2018. Information is summarized from MNFI's database of rare species and community occurrences. Data may not reflect true distribution since much of the state has not been thoroughly surveyed.


Found in openings and banks in woods.

Natural Community Types


For each species, lists of natural communities were derived from review of the nearly 6,500 element occurrences in the MNFI database, in addition to herbarium label data for some taxa. In most cases, at least one specimen record exists for each listed natural community. For certain taxa, especially poorly collected or extirpated species of prairie and savanna habitats, natural community lists were derived from inferences from collection sites and habitat preferences in immediately adjacent states (particularly Indiana and Illinois). Natural communities are not listed for those species documented only from altered or ruderal habitats in Michigan, especially for taxa that occur in a variety of habitats outside of the state.

Natural communities are not listed in order of frequency of occurrence, but are rather derived from the full set of natural communities, organized by Ecological Group. In many cases, the general habitat descriptions should provide greater clarity and direction to the surveyor. In future versions of the Rare Species Explorer, we hope to incorporate natural community fidelity ranks for each taxon.

Associated Plants

Acer rubrum (red maple), Carex pensylvanica, Carya glabra (pignut hickory), C. ovata (shagbark hickory), Comandra umbellata (bastard-toadflax), Cornus foemina (gray dogwood), Crataegus spp. (hawthorns), Danthonia spicata (poverty grass), Elymus hystrix (bottlebrush grass), Erigeron pulchellus (Robin's-plantain), Galium boreale (northern bedstraw), G. pilosum (hairy bedstraw), Geum canadense (white avens), Hamamelis virginiana (witch-hazel), Helianthus divaricatus (woodland sunflower), Hieracium venosum (rattlesnake-weed), Juniperus virginiana (red-cedar), Liparis liliifolia (lily-leaved twayblade), Lysimachia quadrifolia (four-leaved loosestrife), Monarda fistulosa (wild-bergamot), Ostrya virginiana (ironwood), Paronychia canadensis (tall forked chickweed), Pedicularis canadensis (wood-betony), Phlox pilosa (prairie phlox), Poa compressa (Canada bluegrass), Prunus serotina (black cherry), Quercus alba (white oak), Q. velutina (black oak), Rudbeckia hirta (black-eyed Susan), Sanicula canadensis (black snakeroot), Taenidia integerrima (yellow-pimpernel), Veronicastrum virginicum (Culver's root), Zanthoxylum americanum (prickly-ash).


Relatively little known of biology and ecology of this species in Michigan. The primary need at the present time is a status survey to compile better information on habitat requirements.

General Survey Guidelines

Random meander search covers areas that appear likely to have rare taxa, based on habitat and the judgment of the investigator.

Survey Methods

Page Citation

Michigan Natural Features Inventory. 2007. Rare Species Explorer (Web Application). Available online at [Accessed Sep 24, 2018]


Survey References

Technical References

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