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.
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.
Native Americans boiled the roots to make a tea. The plant is an interesting perennial for the rock garden or prairie garden.
Prairie smoke is found in moist sagebrush plains and foothills, to subalpine ridges and talus slopes.
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.
-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.
-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.