Geum triflorum

Prairie Smoke

Plant Type: Perennial
Sun: Partial Shade, Sun
Drainage: Well-draining
Water: Naturalize, Occasional
Height X Width: 1.5' X 2'
Santa Clara County Local: No
What do these mean?



Prairie smoke is native to much of North America west of the Missouri River and the northern Great Plains on into Canada. In California it is found in the eastern Sierra and eastern Cascades. Its preference for cold winters under a blanket of snow makes it something of an experiment in California’s Mediterranean climate. The plant’s attractive qualities certainly warrant the effort. Prairie smoke forms an expanding patch of deeply dissected leaves to about six inches in height. The plants spread via rhizome. The real show begins with the spring bloom. Multiple flower stocks rise up with three nodding, magenta flowers. The seeds each have a long feathery “tail,” somewhat similar to those of the (unrelated) apache plume, Fallugia paradoxa. Thousands of these upright seed heads look something like smoke, hence the common name. Try prairie smoke in a well-draining bed with plenty of sun. It is perhaps best to avoid planting in areas of high winter rainfall.


Deer Resistant: No
Attractive to Bees: Yes
Attractive to Butterflies: Yes
Good Under Oaks: Yes
Evergreen or Deciduous: Evergreen