Geum macrophyllum “Large-leaf Avens” Rosaceae

Weir Hot Springs, Clearwater National Forest, ID
June 8, 2015
Robert Niese

This little forest flower is common throughout moist bottomlands and subalpine meadows here in the PNW. It can be easily distinguished from other yellow-flowered Avens by its massive leaves and reflexed sepals (they’re not visible behind the petals here). Avens characteristically produce adorable heads of achenes that look like tiny sea urchins. In its cousin, Old Man’s Whiskers (Geum triflorum), these achenes have a long feathery tip and look like wisps of smoke.

Geum triflorum “Old Man’s Whiskers” Rosaceae

Missoula, MT
May 13, 2014
Robert Niese

This widespread member of the rose family is best known for its fruiting stage in which each flower transforms into a dense bunch of wispy, feather-like seeds earning it common names such as “Old Man’s Whiskers” and “Prairie Smoke."