Tuesday, July 4, 2023

Queen of the Prairie

“When you are balanced and when you listen and attend to the needs of your body, mind, and spirit, your natural beauty comes out. ”

― Christy Turlington



   I brought to bloom my first Filipendula Rubra ‘Venusta’ (Queen of the Prairie) at my Atelier in Sunny California, started from sproutlings/bulbs from Breck's Nursery in Holland.

Queen of the Prairie (Flipendula Rubra Venusta) is as graceful, visually delicate, and exquisitely beautiful, as it is a wild & unruly member of the rosaceae (rose) family, physically tough, and long-lasting. She is Regal, yet a simple and unfussy plant that chooses to survive amidst a range of conditions. Her long, naked stalks bloom and dress themselves in an ornate panicle of soft pink buds and extraordinary, frothy pink plumed flowers. In craft and natural medicine, this plant is nurturing, healing, and beautifying.

For quite a few years, I have been obsessed with this plant and its flower blooms.  I routinely would source it from suppliers in colder climates to infuse my Tallow and skincare oils with it.  After months of being unable to source her through my regular channels for my Queen’s Tallow (Tallow infused with Queen of the Prairie for its natural scent and salicylic acid properties), I decided I would try to grow her myself. I was not expecting this type of growth, or to see her bloom her first year. I am so lucky to be charged with her life cycle from bulb to craft, and so honored that she just started to bloom. 

  By Leslie Crystal
Photography | Self




The Queen of the Prairie contains natural anti-inflammatory compounds that help soothe and calm the skin. These properties make it effective in reducing redness, irritation, and inflammation associated with various skin conditions, such as eczema, rosacea, and acne.


This botanical queen helps enhance the skin's natural moisture barrier, promoting hydration and preventing moisture loss. By improving the skin's ability to retain moisture, it can help combat dryness and maintain a supple, hydrated complexion.


The Queen of the Prairie is rich in antioxidants, which combat free radicals and protect the skin from oxidative stress. Free radicals are unstable molecules that can damage the skin, leading to premature aging, wrinkles, and dullness. Antioxidants help neutralize these harmful molecules, promoting a youthful and radiant appearance.


The astringent properties of the Queen of the Prairie contribute to toning and tightening the skin. This property can help reduce the appearance of enlarged pores and promote a smoother complexion.


The plant's natural compounds can help even out the skin tone and promote a brighter complexion. It aids in reducing the appearance of hyperpigmentation, dark spots, and discoloration, resulting in a more radiant and luminous skin tone.


The Queen of the Prairie has a calming effect on the skin, making it beneficial for sensitive or reactive skin types. It can help alleviate skin discomfort, redness, and itchiness, providing a soothing sensation and promoting a more balanced complexion.


The plant contains various nutrients and minerals that nourish the skin, supporting its overall health and vitality. These nourishing properties contribute to a healthier complexion and can help improve the skin's texture and appearance.



Choosing the right location for my Queen of the Prairie plants was crucial.  This perennial thrives in moist, well-drained soil, like ponds, and prefers full sun though it can tolerate partial shade.  In my sunny and dry patio in southern California, I opted for keeping it potted in a location with partial sun so that I would overwater and mimic its preferred conditions, without drying her out. 


Instead of starting from seed, I recommend buying bulbs or sproutlings. I recommend to start by obtaining nursery-grown plants, and then moving on to propagate through root division. Queen of the Prairie is usually planted in spring or fall, ensuring the crown is level with or slightly above the soil surface. Though mine remain potted, once planted in soil it is recommended to space individual plants about three feet apart to accommodate their mature size.


Adequate moisture is crucial for the Queen of the Prairie. As someone who tends to overwater, I was happily up to this task. To keep her happy, water regularly, especially during dry spells, to keep the soil consistently moist. It is also helpful to apply a layer of organic mulch to help retain moisture and control weed growth or pests from moist soil. For maintenance, its beneficial to remove spent flowers to encourage continuous blooming-- which works perfectly to allow me to harvest for crafting.

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