“Old Man’s Whiskers, Johnny Smokers, Long-plumed purple Avens”
Geum from the ancient Latin name used by Pliny for this group; triflorum also from the Latin meaning “three-flowered”.
Found throughout the Tallgrass Prairie Region on prairies and rocky soils. They are among the earliest bloomers on the prairie beginning in May and flowering through June. Ranges in height from 6to 16 inches tall with very distintive whispy plumes.
The roots of Prairie Smoke were used by early settlers to make a weak, sassafras-like tea. It was used to treat colic and digestive system disorders and is a powerful astringent. It also served as a styptic and fever reducer. The Blackfoot tribes used a mix made from the pulverized roots to serve as an eyewash and the Ojibwa made a tea from the roots to treat coughs and sore chests.
A decoction of the roots is a tea substitute. It tastes like a weak sassafras tea. A brew was used in Indian sweat houses as a body wash for aches and pains.
Edible Uses: A decoction of the roots is a tea substitute. It tastes like a weak sassafras tea. A brew was used in Indian sweat houses as a body wash for aches and pains.
Medicinal Uses: A strong decoction of the roots is used as a tonic in the treatment of severe coughs and fevers. This decoction can also be used as an eye wash and as a mouth wash for sore throats. An infusion of the roots, mixed with oil, can be applied as a salve to sores, rashes, blisters and flesh wounds. An infusion can also be used as a wash for aching joints, stiff sore muscles etc.
Other Uses: The crushed ripe seeds are used as a perfume.
To Purchase GEUM TRIFLORUM | Prairie Smoke Visit Us At: Native Wildflowers & Prairie Plants from Ion Exchange, Inc.