Prairie Smoke, Geum triflorum
Prairie Smoke (Geum triflorum) is an early-blooming prairie species and member of the Rose family (Rosaceae) that is characterized by its 3 drooping reddish-purple flowers that never fully open. Plants are usually less than a foot tall and have several leaves, each with 7 to 13 leaflets, growing from the base of the plant. Prairie Smoke gets its common name from the reddish, feather-like tails that protrude from mature seeds. These plumes wave in the wind and make it appear as though a thin layer of smoke covers the prairie. Look for Prairie Smoke in May and June in dry, sandy areas with sparse or short grass east of the Marc von Trapp Memorial.