Geum canadense is a perennial herb from a short rhizome and root crown, roots associated with VA mycorrhizas (Brundrett and Kendrick 1988); stem 0.4-1 m tall, clustered from root crown, upper stem velvety-hairy; stipules leaf-like, 2 cm long, 1 cm wide, margin toothed (Yatskievych 2006).
Leaves alternate, stalks long on basal leaves, reduced on stem leaves, hairy, basal leaves overwintering, simple to pinnate, blades dark green often with pale veins, mostly with 3 leaflets, terminal leaflet almost round in outline, ca 9 cm diameter, long-stalked; summer leaves, lower stem leaves 3 leaflets, ca 7 cm, long, 5 cm wide, irregularly lobed and toothed, widest above middle, upper leaves nearly stalkless, lobed to simple, margin toothed.
Flowers white, to1.5 cm wide, radially symmetrical, petals 5, widely spaced, 0.7 cm long, 0.4 cm wide, narrowed at base, sepals shorter, alternating with petals, tip pointed, base wide, fused to floral base (receptacle), stamens numerous, pale yellow-white, ovaries numerous on an elongated floral base (Yatskievych 2006), styles long, hooked, jointed near center, the upper part deciduous, lower part elongating to 0.7 cm in fruit; blooms May-June.
Fruit dry, 1-seeded achenes tipped by persistent, hooked styles on the enlarged recetacle, 1-1.5 cm wide, widest above middle; achenes dispersed by hooking onto fur or clothing; denuded floral base densely pale hairy-bristly; fruits June-Oct. (Hough 1983).
Wetland status: FACU.
Frequency in NYC: Occasional.
Habitat: Woods or part shaded edges, meadows in moist soil.
Notes: Increases in forest gaps where light and moisture are more available (Moore and Vankat 1986). Soil pH 4.5-7.5 (USDA, NRCS 2007). Found in forest soil pH 5.6 (Gargiullo unpublished data). Tolerant of shade, low drought tolerance, intolerant of salt (USDA, NRCS 2007).