[Avens: The Genus Geum East of the Cascade Mountains of Oregon and Washington]

Old Man's Whiskers, Prairie Smoke, Red Avens

Geum triflorum var. ciliatum

Synonyms: Erythrocoma ciliata, Geum canescens, Geum ciliatum, Geum triflorum var. canescens, Sieversia canescens, Sieversia ciliata

Old Man's Whiskers, Prairie Smoke, Red Avens: Geum triflorum var. ciliatum (Synonyms: Erythrocoma ciliata, Geum canescens, Geum ciliatum, Geum triflorum var. canescens, Sieversia canescens, Sieversia ciliata)

Old man's whiskers blooming enmasse along the upper half of the trail from the Steens Mountain summit down to Wildhorse Lake, Harney County, Oregon.......July 10, 2014.

Old Man's Whiskers, Prairie Smoke, Red Avens: Geum triflorum var. ciliatum (Synonyms: Erythrocoma ciliata, Geum canescens, Geum ciliatum, Geum triflorum var. canescens, Sieversia canescens, Sieversia ciliata) The photo at right shows Geum triflorum var. ciliatum as seen at Winter Ridge, Fremont N.F..........May 26, 1996.
Characteristics:

Prairie smoke is a perennial, often to 30 cm broad, consisting primarily of basal leaves which are compound-pinnate. The blades are from 5-18 cm long and the numerous leaflets are parted or dissected. The blades are covered with long, grayish hairs. The flowering stems are reddish and may be up to 40 cm tall, with a pair of reduced leaves at midstem.

The flowers are terminal, with one to nine flowers in a cyme. The calyx is reddish-purple to pink or yellow in color. The 5 petals are light yellow, white, pink, or red-purple tinged. When in bloom, the flowers nod or arch downward. As the fruits mature, the flower becomes erect. The fruits are elongate, feathery achenes.

Prairie smoke is a great addition to the grassland garden and should be readily available at many native plant nurseries.


Importance:

Native Americans boiled the roots to make a tea. The plant is an interesting perennial for the rock garden or prairie garden.


Habitat:

Prairie smoke is found in moist sagebrush plains and foothills, to subalpine ridges and talus slopes.


Range:

Old man's whiskers may be found on the eastern side of the Cascades from British Columbia south to the Sierra Nevada. It is found eastward to Newfoundland, and south to New York, Illinois, Nebraska, through the Rockies to New Mexico and Nevada.


Old Man's Whiskers, Prairie Smoke, Red Avens: Geum triflorum var. ciliatum (Synonyms: Erythrocoma ciliata, Geum canescens, Geum ciliatum, Geum triflorum var. canescens, Sieversia canescens, Sieversia ciliata) - Old Man's Whiskers, Prairie Smoke, Red Avens: Geum triflorum var. ciliatum (Synonyms: Erythrocoma ciliata, Geum canescens, Geum ciliatum, Geum triflorum var. canescens, Sieversia canescens, Sieversia ciliata)

Prairie smoke as seen (left) at the western edge of FS Road #4215 in Antler Prairie, Ochoco National Forest...........May 27, 2016. The photo at right showsthe inflorescence of prairie smoke as seen along the Mother Lode Trail #808A atop Lookout Mountain, Ochoco National Forest.........June 25, 2017.

Flower of Old Man's Whiskers, Prairie Smoke, Red Avens: Geum triflorum var. ciliatum (Synonyms: Erythrocoma ciliata, Geum canescens, Geum ciliatum, Geum triflorum var. canescens, Sieversia canescens, Sieversia ciliata) - Old Man's Whiskers, Prairie Smoke, Red Avens: Geum triflorum var. ciliatum (Synonyms: Erythrocoma ciliata, Geum canescens, Geum ciliatum, Geum triflorum var. canescens, Sieversia canescens, Sieversia ciliata)

The photo at left shows a close-up of a flower of Geum triflorum var. ciliatum, as photographed at Alder Thicket Campground in the Umatilla National Forest of southeastern Washington.......June 25, 2007. The photo at right shows the inflorescence of prairie smoke as seen in scablandsat the northeast corner of FS Roads 42 and 30, Ochoco National Forest.......May10, 2017.

Basal leaf of Old Man's Whiskers, Prairie Smoke, Red Avens: Geum triflorum var. ciliatum (Synonyms: Erythrocoma ciliata, Geum canescens, Geum ciliatum, Geum triflorum var. canescens, Sieversia canescens, Sieversia ciliata)

The photo above shows a close-up of a basal leaf of prairie smoke as photographed on Tygh Valley Ridge just north of Tygh Valley, OR.........May 2000.

Old Man's Whiskers, Prairie Smoke, Red Avens: Geum triflorum var. ciliatum (Synonyms: Erythrocoma ciliata, Geum canescens, Geum ciliatum, Geum triflorum var. canescens, Sieversia canescens, Sieversia ciliata) - Old Man's Whiskers, Prairie Smoke, Red Avens: Geum triflorum var. ciliatum (Synonyms: Erythrocoma ciliata, Geum canescens, Geum ciliatum, Geum triflorum var. canescens, Sieversia canescens, Sieversia ciliata) - Inflorescence of Old Man's Whiskers, Prairie Smoke, Red Avens: Geum triflorum var. ciliatum (Synonyms: Erythrocoma ciliata, Geum canescens, Geum ciliatum, Geum triflorum var. canescens, Sieversia canescens, Sieversia ciliata)

The photo at left shows a nice colorful mass of Geum triflorum var. ciliatum, as photographed at Alder Thicket Campground in the Umatilla National Forest of southeastern Washington...........June 25, 2007. The photos at center and at right show close-up views of the inflorescence and of a flower going to fruit as seen on the east-facing slopes of the Hart Mt. ridgeline west of Hot Springs Campground, Hart Mt. National Antelope Refuge.........June 9, 2016.

Old Man's Whiskers, Prairie Smoke, Red Avens: Geum triflorum var. ciliatum (Synonyms: Erythrocoma ciliata, Geum canescens, Geum ciliatum, Geum triflorum var. canescens, Sieversia canescens, Sieversia ciliata) - Old Man's Whiskers, Prairie Smoke, Red Avens: Geum triflorum var. ciliatum (Synonyms: Erythrocoma ciliata, Geum canescens, Geum ciliatum, Geum triflorum var. canescens, Sieversia canescens, Sieversia ciliata)

Prairie smoke blooming in Summit Prairie, Malheur National Forest.........May 28, 2014.

Flower of Old Man's Whiskers, Prairie Smoke, Red Avens: Geum triflorum var. ciliatum (Synonyms: Erythrocoma ciliata, Geum canescens, Geum ciliatum, Geum triflorum var. canescens, Sieversia canescens, Sieversia ciliata) - Basal leaves of Old Man's Whiskers, Prairie Smoke, Red Avens: Geum triflorum var. ciliatum (Synonyms: Erythrocoma ciliata, Geum canescens, Geum ciliatum, Geum triflorum var. canescens, Sieversia canescens, Sieversia ciliata)

The photo at left shows a close-up of one flower of prairie smoke (var. ciliatum) as photographed along slopes above Wilson Creek in central Washington...........June 22, 2006. The photo at right shows a basal leaf rosette of prairie smoke as seen at the Big Tree Botanical Area about one mile northeast of Lost Lake, Okanogan National Forest.........July 13, 2015.

Old Man's Whiskers, Prairie Smoke, Red Avens: Geum triflorum var. ciliatum (Synonyms: Erythrocoma ciliata, Geum canescens, Geum ciliatum, Geum triflorum var. canescens, Sieversia canescens, Sieversia ciliata) - Old Man's Whiskers, Prairie Smoke, Red Avens: Geum triflorum var. ciliatum (Synonyms: Erythrocoma ciliata, Geum canescens, Geum ciliatum, Geum triflorum var. canescens, Sieversia canescens, Sieversia ciliata)

Prairie smoke in bloom at left at the Hells Canyon Overlook, Hells Canyon National Recreation Area......June 11, 2018. The photo at right shows a maturing seed head of prairie smoke as seen along the Stubblefield Trail at Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge......July 4, 2018.

Old Man's Whiskers, Prairie Smoke, Red Avens: Geum triflorum var. ciliatum (Synonyms: Erythrocoma ciliata, Geum canescens, Geum ciliatum, Geum triflorum var. canescens, Sieversia canescens, Sieversia ciliata) - Inflorescence of Old Man's Whiskers, Prairie Smoke, Red Avens: Geum triflorum var. ciliatum (Synonyms: Erythrocoma ciliata, Geum canescens, Geum ciliatum, Geum triflorum var. canescens, Sieversia canescens, Sieversia ciliata)

Prairie smoke leaves just emergingt left from the ground on the upper west-facing slopes of Hager Mountain, Fremont National Forest..........May 19, 2016. The photo at right shows the inflorescence of prairie smoke as seen from vernally moist prairie along Indian Creek a the northwest corner of Big Summit Prairie, Ochoco National Forest.......May 7, 2018.

Paul Slichter