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Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center

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Prairie Wildflowers and Grasses of North Dakota

Spring Wildflowers

Harold Umber photo: Prairie smoke
Harold Umber
  Prairie smoke
(Geum triflorum)

Distribution: statewide except south central
Habitat: moist prairie, ditches, opens woodlands, hillsides and ridges, commonly in large patches
Flowers: drooping reddish purple feathery flowers, often 3 together on each stem, resemble a puff of smoke
Height: 6-12 inches
Blooms: early May to mid-June
Family name: Rose (Rosaceae)
Other names: Torch flower, Three-flowered avens, Old man's whiskers
Plant uses and other interesting facts: Blackfoot Indians boiled its roots into tea to treat canker sores, sore throat, coughs, open wounds and boiled the plant in water to wash sore or inflamed eyes. They also mixed the roots with tobacco and smoked it to "clear the mind."

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