Montana Outdoors

May 25, 2012

Prairie Smoke

Filed under: Wildflowers — Tags: , , , — montucky @ 10:25 pm

Prairie Smoke, Old Man's Whiskers, Purple Avens

Prairie Smoke, Old Man's Whiskers, Purple Avens

Prairie Smoke, Old Man's Whiskers, Purple Avens

Prairie Smoke, Old Man's Whiskers, Purple Avens

Prairie Smoke, Old Man’s Whiskers, Purple Avens, Geum triflorum, May 20

Prairie smoke seeds

Fruits or seed heads of the Prairie Smoke, June 2008

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46 Comments »

  1. Beautiful photos. I’d heard of prairie smoke but I didn’t know which species it was. The last photo in particular is lovely.

    Like

    Comment by Jo Woolf — May 26, 2012 @ 12:14 am

    • It’s a rather strange little flower, but I find it pretty and especially the seed head. This is another wildflower that I’m sure is usually overlooked because it blends in so well with the grasses.

      Like

      Comment by montucky — May 28, 2012 @ 9:32 pm

  2. I have not seen or heard of it, but it is so “special” looking. I love the last photo very much.

    Like

    Comment by Sartenada — May 26, 2012 @ 1:27 am

    • It is certainly quite different from most flower blossoms. It took several years before I started noticing them.

      Like

      Comment by montucky — May 28, 2012 @ 9:35 pm

  3. Great pics of this interesting plant. Does it grow primarily in open prairie, full sun locations?

    Like

    Comment by Grampy — May 26, 2012 @ 3:27 am

    • Not so much in open prairie, or at least I haven’t noticed it there, but in clearings and meadows and always in full sun.

      Like

      Comment by montucky — May 28, 2012 @ 9:36 pm

  4. What a great name! Love that last shot!

    Like

    Comment by sandy — May 26, 2012 @ 5:09 am

    • I like the name too. It creates a great image. I’ve read that large quantities of them in seed produce an image that looks like smoke, hence the name.

      Like

      Comment by montucky — May 28, 2012 @ 9:39 pm

  5. Wonderful shots! A very unusual flower and so pretty!!

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    Comment by allbymyself09 — May 26, 2012 @ 11:58 am

    • They are unusual enough that I wonder what its pollinators are.

      Like

      Comment by montucky — May 28, 2012 @ 9:41 pm

  6. such beautiful portraits of this lovely flower~

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    Comment by Tammie — May 26, 2012 @ 2:48 pm

  7. Such colorful names for so many of these wildflowers! Love the pink.

    Like

    Comment by Candace — May 26, 2012 @ 3:00 pm

    • I’m disappointed with a few of the flower names, but some like this I think are just great.

      Like

      Comment by montucky — May 28, 2012 @ 9:44 pm

  8. What a beauty. I’ve never seen it – a quick glance at its favored locations shows why. Not for us, this lovely, gauzy plant! I found one picture with a wide view and it did look rather like smoke or ground fog. Your last photo’s extraordinary.

    Like

    Comment by shoreacres — May 26, 2012 @ 7:05 pm

    • You know, I get a lot of satisfaction posting photos of flowers like this one. It’s really very delicate and pretty and yet I wonder how many people who live around them have ever seen one. I like the idea of them being seen and appreciated for the beautiful little creations they are.

      Like

      Comment by montucky — May 28, 2012 @ 9:47 pm

  9. Shoreacres noted that this prairie smoke doesn’t blow as far south on the prairie as Texas, but I certainly wish it did. As with Clematis drummondii, the seed heads are the plant’s most dramatic and photogenic feature.

    Like

    Comment by Steve Schwartzman — May 26, 2012 @ 10:53 pm

    • Yes, the seed head is dramatic and I find it very attractive. While the plants are vastly different the seed heads remind me of those on the white and also the blue, clematis.

      Like

      Comment by montucky — May 28, 2012 @ 9:50 pm

  10. Prairie smoke is an intriguing looking wild flower all fuzzy with drooping heads. Neat names for wildflowers… I like that. Great shots!

    Like

    Comment by Anna Surface — May 27, 2012 @ 5:18 am

    • Many of the wildflowers have have touches of fuzz but this one takes it to the extreme. It seems to work for it though.

      Like

      Comment by montucky — May 28, 2012 @ 9:52 pm

  11. Excellent photos…love the compositions!!!

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    Comment by dhphotosite — May 27, 2012 @ 8:30 am

    • Thanks David. Wildflowers just seem to pose by themselves, just as a good model does. Or at least that’s my perception.

      Like

      Comment by montucky — May 28, 2012 @ 9:57 pm

  12. Another interesting plant I’ve never heard of. I love the seed head and can see where it gets its common name.

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    Comment by New Hampshire Garden Solutions — May 27, 2012 @ 12:21 pm

    • It’s pretty common, I think, but I seldom see it photographed or mentioned. I look forward to seeing them every year!

      Like

      Comment by montucky — May 28, 2012 @ 9:58 pm

  13. I don’t think I’ve ever seen this plant before. So unusual looking.

    Like

    Comment by Mama's Empty Nest — May 27, 2012 @ 4:17 pm

    • Their distribution is in the west and north, not so much east though. It’s unusual enough that I think a lot of folks will miss it

      Like

      Comment by montucky — May 28, 2012 @ 10:02 pm

  14. Your flower pictures are making me want to search a little more for some unique flowers around here too.

    Like

    Comment by Ratty — May 27, 2012 @ 11:34 pm

    • I’ve learned that the trick to finding wildflowers is to be out as often as possible. During the spring and into summer, I usually find several new blooms each time I go out, and some have a very short blooming season so it’s easy to miss. For example, I took my dog for a short hike in the forest after dinner this evening and I saw three new blossoms that ween’t there just three days ago.

      Like

      Comment by montucky — May 28, 2012 @ 10:04 pm

  15. Hi Montucky, Of course I loved all of these pictures, but I especially enjoyed the surprise of that last shot! Excellent photography! Have a fine Memorial Day.

    Like

    Comment by wildlifewatcher — May 28, 2012 @ 10:08 am

    • Thank you! Yes, the seed head on this one is quite unexpected.

      Like

      Comment by montucky — May 28, 2012 @ 10:05 pm

  16. I love the name and your beautiful photos – as always!

    Like

    Comment by farmhouse stories — May 28, 2012 @ 7:55 pm

    • Thanks! “Prairie Smoke” is one of my favorite wildflower names!

      Like

      Comment by montucky — May 28, 2012 @ 10:07 pm

  17. Very nice photos. We have the same wildflower it seems (Geum rivale), but yours look a bit different from ours.

    Like

    Comment by bentehaarstad — May 29, 2012 @ 5:54 am

    • I’ve read that rivale does grow in this general area but I haven’t run across it yet. From photos it appears to have a more open blossom, which would be very pretty!

      Like

      Comment by montucky — May 29, 2012 @ 8:24 pm

  18. They’re so beautiful, they don’t look real!

    Like

    Comment by zannyro — May 29, 2012 @ 9:20 pm

    • They are unusual, but whatever their strategy is, it works. They are plentiful. I find them very beautiful.

      Like

      Comment by montucky — May 29, 2012 @ 11:14 pm

  19. Love these. They ave so much texture and personality — comes through even in a photograph. Must have been a poet who named it.

    Like

    Comment by Bo Mackison (@bo_mackison) — May 31, 2012 @ 7:38 am

    • They do have a lot of personality. They are small and quite shy, but well worth a close look.

      Like

      Comment by montucky — May 31, 2012 @ 9:05 pm

  20. What an interesting plant, gorgeously photographed.

    Like

    Comment by Watching Seasons — May 31, 2012 @ 5:42 pm

    • Thanks! Strange little things, but rather haunting, easy to remember.

      Like

      Comment by montucky — May 31, 2012 @ 9:06 pm

  21. That last photo is N-CRED-I-BLE!!

    Like

    Comment by kcjewel — May 31, 2012 @ 6:34 pm

    • The seeds compete with the flower for beauty, don’t they!

      Like

      Comment by montucky — May 31, 2012 @ 9:07 pm

  22. Gorgeous & great composition! I really do enjoy your flowers & info, and I’m trying to learn!

    Like

    Comment by bayphotosbydonna — June 1, 2012 @ 8:49 am

    • I’m very pleased that you enjoy them! They are beautiful little flowers.

      Like

      Comment by montucky — June 1, 2012 @ 10:11 pm

  23. I’ve never sen these wildflowers before. They are gorgeous.

    Like

    Comment by Neita — June 5, 2012 @ 2:57 am

    • They are fairly small and I think they often are not noticed.

      Like

      Comment by montucky — June 5, 2012 @ 8:36 pm


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