A classic plant of North American prairies, distinguished by its reddish pink to red, nodding flowers in late spring, which are followed by feathery seed heads that led to its common names: prairie smoke, old-man whiskers, torch plant… ; the foliage is fern-like with pinnately divided leaves which will turn reddish in late fall.
A simply wonderful plant on the whole! It can be used to form a ground cover if desired; best grown in full sun, on the dry side; poorly drained soils can be a problem but otherwise it’s a low maintenance plant.
It has had medicinal uses by Native Americans (tea from boiled roots was used for wound applications and sore throat treatments).
Germination: sow in late fall outside, or in the spring after cold-moist stratification. It will germinate almost 100% somewhere in late April.