dejayM's picture

Mutant geum

Observed: 22nd July 2013 By: dejayM
Biological Recording In ScotlandHighland Biological Recording GroupOrkney Biodiversity Records Centre
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with leaf

I found this flower (two or three) in a scattered drift of Geum rivale (Water Avens). Whilst is has been accepted, elsewhere in iSpot, (see as likely to be a Hybrid 'tween G.rivale and Wood Avens (G.urbanum - ('Herb Bennet'). It may be a naturally occurring mutant.
Picture four may be of the Hybrid Avens (Geum rivale x urbanum = G. x intermedium). It was taken at the same location. BUT web-evidence does suggest that there should be some similarities to Geum urbanum - there is none.
Read more in the Comments below.

Species interactions

No interactions present.

Species with which Water Avens (Geum rivale) interacts


dejayM's picture

Hybrids or muntants

It is amazingly like Geum Flames of Passion a licensed (and protected) cultivated variety available from garden suppliers.
Whilst it is possible that seed or plants from this type of source were placed there, it is highly unlikely - just look at the location.

I have a lot of time for Roger Darlington's site here -
Wouldn't H'link sorry
Way down in the picture sequence is "These are not hybrids, but naturally-occurring mutations, which are fairly common in Water Avens. ..."
He seems to be making a pretty definitive statement.

More about the hybrid versions
"The two species are also partially isolated from each other by their modes of pollination (see Taylor's papers, given in the references below).
•G. rivale is pollinated primarily by bees, less often by flies and beetles. As the flower matures, elongation of the stamens ensures it self-fertilises if not already cross-pollinated. (The flowers are protogynous, i.e. the stigmas mature before the stamens.) It begins flowering a little earlier than G. urbanum, so early pollinations will be within the gene-pool of the single species.
•G. urbanum is noted by Taylor as having few insect visitors, mainly flies (see photograph above). It is only weakly protogynous and soon self-fertilises.
It follows that crossing between the species may be less than expected. Taylor also notes that crosses may often fail when G. rivale is the potential female parent."

I am REALLY keen to gather more information, so if you have more please add comments.

landgirl's picture

Geum rivale

I think the mutations in this species are quite well-known, although I can't quote sources. I've posted one myself, at
Mine wasn't nearly as striking as yours, though!

dejayM's picture


Yes Alyson, Thanks. I am sorry to have missed yours in my research.
there's another here
DO take a look at Rogers's ones in the site I mention.
I am annoyed that it would not hyperlink and I am trying to put that right.
Do give me an agreement IF you agree.

landgirl's picture

Roger's site is great

That series of photos is excellent. I wonder if the fancy garden varieties came from mutations like these? I bet they did!