The long plumes of a three-flowered avens as it goes to seed
© Sunshine Haven Photo/Shutterstoc
Old man's whiskers growing wild
The three-flowered avens is one of those lucky plants known by several common names, including prairie smoke and, yes, old man's whiskers. The hardy perennial blooms across North American prairies during the region’s springtime, setting off purple-tinged, closed bell-shaped flowers that hang downward in clumps of three. After bees go to work pollinating the buds, the fertilised flowers open and turn skyward, transforming their pistils into soft swirling tendrils that are said to resemble an old man's whiskers. Take a good look at our image and decide if that's what comes to mind for you.