Stems: ascending, pubescent, branched above. Leaves: basal ones lyrate-pinnate; leaflets five to seven, obovate, cuneate, dentate, with a few smaller ones interspersed, the terminal one largest; stem-leaves sessile, with three to five ovate acute segments. Flowers: several, terminal, of five petals.

This is a common plant, with bright yellow five-petalled flowers and large foliage. Each leaf is pinnately divided and has one big terminal segment and from four to six smaller leaflets, interspersed with some very tiny ones. The most noticeable feature is the fruit, which consists of a ball of seeds, each one terminating in an elongated barbed style.

Geum macrophyllum, or Large-leaved Avens, is very like the preceding species, but it has much larger, coarser foliage. It also has bright yellow flowers and a bur-like head of seeds, each one of which terminates in the same slender, jointed, hooked style which is a distinguishing characteristic of this genus of plants.

Both the Yellow Avens and the Large-leaved Avens have lobed and toothed leaves and small clove-scented flowers. They are rough hairy plants and resemble weeds.

Unattractive as is the coarse foliage of the Geums, yet their primrose-tinted blossoms gleam like jewels of pale gold amidst the dark green leaves, and these redeem the plants from utter ugliness.