Three-flowered Avens

photo by Andrew McKinlay CC BY NC

Prairie Smoke, Old Man's Whiskers

Three-flowered Avens is a small hairy plant (4-16 in) with 3 nodding, reddish-pink, bell-like flowers on long stalks. Fern-like dark green leaves grow from the base of the plant.

Three-flowered Avens often grows in large patches. It can be found on the prairies and sagebrush plains of western North America and flowers from May to June.

The purple-gray seed head is composed of long (1.5 in) feathery strands and looks like a feather duster - hence the plant's alternate names of Prairie Smoke and Old Man's Whiskers.

Did you know? Three-flowered Avens is an important source of food for insects coming out of hibernation as it flowers in early spring.