White Mountain Avens

Dryas octopetala

White Mountain-Avens

APPEARANCE

White mountain aven is a short evergreen shrub, up to 15 centimetres tall. It has small shiny leaves with wavy and toothed edges that are furry underneath. The flowers are white with eight petals and a yellow centre.

RANGE & HABITAT

In B.C. they are only found near the Yukon border, but they are also found throughout the Arctic and tundra from Alaska to Labrador and around the Northern hemisphere. Mountain avens like rocky sites, especially limestone rocks and spots where other plants can’t grow.

LIFE CYCLE

The white flowers turn into fuzzy seed heads, but they spread mostly by their roots.

ANIMAL USES

Not many animals graze on this plant, but a deer or sheep might take a bite.

TRADITIONAL USES BY INDIGENOUS PEOPLES

The flowers and seeds heads can make a bright green dye.

OTHER USES

Gardeners grow them for rock gardens.

STATUS

COSEWIC: Not at Risk
CDC: Yellow

MORE INFORMATION

www.naturewatch.ca

Photo: Kari Pihlaviita