May. 18, 2017

prairie smoke, Geum triflorum

Prairie smoke could well get its name from how elusive it is in this part of the country. But out in the Rockies it grows in large patches, where it can look like fumes in the distance. It's another flower that catches your eye because of its colorful bracts, instead of its petals. It certainly makes an interesting addition to a rock garden. Indians used it often for medicine, but I've found no mention of its use by Europeans. It was most often used for respiratory issues, wounds, and the Blackfoot used the seeds to make perfume. The flowers are about 3/4 inch long. Prairie smoke grows in open areas in AZ, CA, CO, IA, ID, IL, MI(T), MN, MT, ND, NM, NV, NY(T), OR, SD, UT, WA, WI, WY, AB, BC, MB, NT, ON, SK, and YT. Summit Co CO, 6/17/13.