Wood Avens

Wood Avens (Geum urbanum)

Wood Avens are also known as:

  • herb Bennet
  • colewort
  • St.Benedict’s herb

It is very common around our area especially down in the woods. It is apparently a member of the rose family but it seems to love shady areas and grows well along our hedge and in our wooded area of the garden.

Tradition has it that wood avens have the power to drive away evil spirits, protect against rabid dogs and venomous snakes. It was associated with Christianity because its leaves grew in threes and its petals in fives (reminiscent of, respectively, the Holy Trinity and the Five Wounds of Christ).


  • The root can be used as a spice in soups and also as a flavouring ale but I have not tried either of these. The root has a cloves like flavour and can also be used to flavour other drinks (see coffee below)
  • young leaves can be cooked or used in salads
  • it is used in herbal medicine.