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Manitoba Museum

Rose (Rosaceae)

Three-flowered Avens

Geum triflorum Pursh

This unusual plant is recognized by the long, pink, feathery hairs that catch the wind and help scatter the fruit. Unlike many other perennials, its basal leaves stay green all winter. The flowers remain partly closed, and are pollinated by insects, mainly bumblebees, with enough strength to force their way in. Because they bloom in early spring, Three-flowered Avens provide an important energy source to insects coming out of hibernation.

Flower Colour:

  • Pink

Flowering Season:

  • Spring

Flowering Months:

  • June
  • May

Canadian Rarity Status:

Not rare. Listed as “may be at risk” in Yukon and Northwest Territories.

Physical Appearance:

The pinkish stems of this plant grow to 40 cm tall. Basal leaves occur in a low rosette, and are each divided into 7-19 toothed leaflets. The stem leaves are smaller, and also toothed. Flowers occur in threes, nodding from long, hairy stalks. They stay mostly closed, and have five petals hidden behind dark pink sepals. Dark pink, hairy bracts extend from the sepals. After blooming, each flower straightens up and produces numerous achenes with long, pink, feathery hairs.

Similar Species:

Purple Avens (Geum rivale L.)

Gardening Notes:

Seeds and/or plants are typically available from greenhouses and seed supply companies specializing in native plants. This is a good plant for butterfly, prairie, and meadow gardens.

Canadian Distribution:

  • Alberta
  • British Columbia
  • Manitoba
  • Northwest Territories
  • Ontario
  • Saskatchewan
  • Yukon

Prairie Types:

  • Fescue Prairie
  • Mixed Grass Prairie
  • Tall Grass Prairie


  • Alvars
  • Montane Meadows
  • Open Woodlands
  • Prairies

Moisture Conditions:

  • Dry

Light Preference:

  • Full Sun
  • Part Shade

Soil Preference:

  • Clay
  • Sand
Three-flowered Avens