Wednesday, December 27, 2006
Queen Of The Prairie
Filipendula rubra, queen of the prairie, has large panicles of soft, pink flowers that here in Iowa in its native prairie fens, float above the prairie grasses like wind-blown smoke, and can be seen from a long distance. When it blooms in mid-summer, the flower heads are constantly humming with insects, at the top of stalks that can be as high as a man. They like sun and moisture, and given these, spread steadily into large patches. It is lovely in our garden, but in a bittersweet way, as it is a reminder of the loss of most of our tall grass prairies, plowed and paved into the dust of oblivion.