Winter on the Palouse

A few weeks past Winter Solstice and most plants here on the Palouse find themselves nestled into dormancy.  The grasses, brown and nodding, poke up through the snow reminding us of the plant community that lies beneath.  The conifers keep their green needles, interrupting the browns and tans of the winter.  Another, although more elusive evergreen, is prairie smoke, Geum triflorum. 

Prairie smoke under 6" of snow.                          A field of prairie smoke in summer.

Under the blanket of snow we have here, some persistent green leaves of prairie smoke continue to thrive.  Depending on the local climate, or the harshness of that particular winter, some prairie smoke leaves may turn orange or red, or even die off.  But this winter, on the shoulders of Paradise Ridge, the leaves of prairie smoke have remained green…thus far.

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-Wayne and Jacie Jensen
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