The Plant Store is now closed for 2023 and will re-open for sales in May of 2024

  • Please see the Using the Plant Library  page  for some tips on how to make the most of the information here to select species for creating a healthy native plant community suited to the conditions of your site.

Geum triflorum, Prairie Smoke

Geum triflorum
Prairie Smoke

  • Average to dry soils
  • Prefers full sun
  • 12” to 18” tall, 12” to 18” wide
  • Spring blooms
  • Native to Ontario, beginner friendly, Thrives in dry meadow settings

Many of the earliest blooming native perennials are woodland species, hurrying to gather solar energy and complete their blooming cycle before the tree canopy fills in, but you can also find early spring blooming perennials in sunny areas, especially locations that tend to be quite dry in the summer.

Prairie Smoke is one of these early blooming, sun loving species. They come with a layer of fuzz, to hold frost crystals off of their foliage in the spring and to minimize moisture loss in the heat of summer. Their downward facing flowers, with pale yellow petals and rich pink sepals, appear in early to mid May. They are very pretty in their own right but aren’t actually the feature that inspires their common name.

The ‘smoke’ of Prairie Smoke refers to the plumes of seeds, held upright through the month of June as the seeds mature and their long fuzzy tails fade from pink and green to silvery as they dry and eventually blow away or catch on fur of fabric to migrate to a new home.

Their foliage stays green through the summer and develops some purple tones in the cool fall weather, when they form dense rosettes of semi-evergreen foliage that help them get off to a fast start in the spring.

They prefer open, sunny locations with good drainage and are quite drought tolerant. They don’t compete well with taller plants and don’t do well in shade or high moisture locations. They do well paired with other low-growing perennials, grasses and sedges.

Their growing preferences make them well suited to green roof conditions, with their tendency to be on the hot, dry, windy side. Better than in my ground-level urban garden in fact, since it is becoming more of a woodland with each passing year (these things happen when you plant 6 trees and several shrubs on a 30’ wide city lot). Because of this, and to do them justice, several of these photos are from a rooftop planting that I photographed way back in 2013 in Toronto.

Prairie Smoke tends to remain quite compact, growing 12” to 18” tall and wide and doesn’t tend to run or produce many offsets. They adapt well to gardens, as long as they lean more toward the dry meadow than the jungle end of the spectrum.

Species that were not sown / aren't being sown for 2023 are marked with an * 
Species that are native to this continent, but not historically native to Ontario are marked with a ~ 
While it rarely comes up, I do reserve the right to limit plant quantities, mostly to help ensure that as many native plant gardens as possible become a reality
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