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Geum triflorum

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Plant types and subtypes: Perennials, Ground Covers

Light Requirements: sun, part-sun

Water Use: low

Soil Moisture: dry, moist

Soil Description: neutral, average, loam, clay, sand

Height: 10"-18"

Bloom Time: April, May, June, July

Bloom Color: red, purple, pink

Leaf Color: green, blue-green

Hardiness Zone: 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8

Additional Tags: colonizing, cottage garden plant, deer resistant, drought tolerant, mat-forming, medicinal, naturalizing, ornamental foliage

Geum triflorum (old man's whiskers)
  • Geum triflorum (old man's whiskers)
  • Geum triflorum (old man's whiskers)
  • Geum triflorum (old man's whiskers)
  • Geum triflorum (old man's whiskers)

Pricing & Availability

Description

Geum triflorum

Also known as:

old man's whiskers

,

prairie smoke

,

purple avens

,

long-plumed purple avens

,

torch flower

,

lion's beard

Scientific Synonyms:

Description

Though small in size, Geum triflorum is a striking species. The basal leaves are fern-like, sharply divided and hairy along their margins. Each flowering stem grows to a height of about 14", and is terminated by three ( hence the name triflorum), nodding, bell-shaped reddish-purple flowers by mid summer. These flowers will persist for one to two months. Once fertilized, they become erect and the real show begins as they transform into seed bearing clusters of long, feathery plumes. When the plants are clustered, these achenes create the effect of low to the ground pinkish smoke that persists for a couple of months. Though not truly evergreen, the leaves persist through winter, turning attractive shades of red and crimson.

Cultivation

This species is perfectly adapted to the dry conditions found in rock gardens. It can also be used effectively if planted in groups in a perennial bed. It should be given ample room, as it does not like to be overcrowded by taller growing perennials. Spreading by rhizomes, plants can form dense colonies and create an effective ground cover. Wet and soggy winter conditions may cause the plants to die back. Very cold hardy: Zones 3-8

Propagation

Propagate by division or root cuttings in early spring or fall. Germination rates are low.

Additional Notes

A very rewarding species that, so far, has been underutilized.

Native Range & Classification

Recorded County Distribution: USDA data

Native Range:
AZ, CA, CO, IA, ID, IL, MI, MN, MT, ND, NM, NV, NY, OR, SD, UT, WA, WI, WY

USDA Endangered Status:

  • Threatened: MI, NY

Classification

Kingdom Plantae Plants
Subkingdom Tracheobionta Vascular plants
Superdivision Spermatophyta Seed plants
Division Magnoliophyta Flowering plants
Class Magnoliopsida Dicotyledons
Subclass Rosidae
Order Rosales
Family Rosaceae Rose family
Genus Geum avens
Species Geum triflorum old man's whiskers