Avens, Mountain

Information on Mountain Avens

Common Name: Mountain Avens
Scientific Name: Dryas octopetala
Irish Name: Leaithín
Family Group: Rosaceae
Distribution: View Map (Courtesy of the BSBI)
Flowering Period

Click for list of all flowering by month
Mountain Avens is not easily confused with other wild plants on this web site.

This evergreen, perennial, dwarf shrub with long creeping stems is truly one of the treasures of the Burren.    'Dryas' from Greek drus or Oak, its little leaves resemble miniature oak leaves and have silvery undersides. Its white flowers (20-40mm ) have eight or more petals -  'Octopetala' – and a circle of numerous golden stamens.  It flowers from May to July on limestone ledges, cliffs and heaths.  Later in the year its seeds are borne on 20-30mm feathery, silvery achenes.  Not frequently found throughout Ireland, it was very common throughout Europe over 10,000 years ago as evidence, in the form of pollen grains, shows.  Part of what is known as the arctic/alpine element of the Burren flora, it flourishes in the Arctic, the mountains of Europe and is the national emblem of Iceland. It is a very special native and belongs to the family Rosaceae

I first saw this plant at Black Head, Co Clare in 1979 and photographed it in the Burren in 2004.

If you are satisfied you have correctly identified this plant, please submit your sighting to the National Biodiversity Data Centre

Mountain Avens is given some measure of protection in Northern Ireland under the Wildlife (NI) Order, 1985.

Avens, Mountain
Avens, Mountain
Avens, Mountain