50 Natives: Indiana: Filipendula rubra – Inspired by Amanda Thomsen

Maybe you remember a while back before the election, I was taking inspiration from the candidates for my native plant series. I have started to bore a bit of whole thing so I want to spice it up as I enter the second half (can you believe I have done half the states now!). I had alot of fun with picking plants inspired by people…so I thought I would take inspiration from some of my favorite other bloggers and garden and landscape design luminaries’ home states. Then I can introduce you in the nicest and most unique way possible.
In the blogging world, it is not so often that you get a chance to meet your friends in the flesh and rather only know them through their online personalities and stalking them on the various social media sites (twitter, facebook, etc.) So please understand I am doing this all in fun and my picks for people are meant to be the sincerest form of flattery and based entirely on their online personas.

Who is my first up?…Amanda Thomsen of Kiss my Aster – the self described enfant terrible of Valparaiso Indiana. I love her funky style and often find my self skipping over reading the tweets of others to see what she is going to say next. Such a large personality is bit hard to choose a plant from Indiana to be representative of her stand out style. The plant must have a retro vibe, it must stand out above others, it must by eye-catching, if not shocking……I think it must be the Queen-of-the-Prairie.

1. Filipendula rubra 01, 2. Preeria-angervo, 3. Filipendula rubra, Queen-Of-The-Prairie, 4. Filipendula rubra, Queen-Of-The-Prairie, 5. Filipendula rubra
Yes, Filipendula Rubra, like Amanda is the the Queen-of-the -Prairie. Its flowers resemble wind tossed fluff or foam and are impossible not to notice. At a height of up to 6′, in prairies, the pink flowers rise above the surrounding vegetation and can be seen from a considerable distance. It has a very distinctive appearance, and can’t be confused with any other native plant.
On a side note, I love knowing the medicinal uses of plants. FIlipendula was used by Native Americans for heart troubles and love potions. It is very similar to aspirin. It has also been used to treat gout, influenza, rheumatism, arthritis, fever, kidney and bladder problems -it is an astringent and can be used as a wash for wounds, and a treatment for rashes. (please don’t take this as a recommendation to try at home…you really shouldn’t be eating native plants.)
Filipendula is not only native to Indiana, but many eastern and prairie states, but is increasing rare and threatened in many places. Protecting wetlands and planting it in your garden will help to maintain and encourage its genetic diversity and ensure it continues to thrive.
So there it is my Amanda Thomsen inspired native plant from Indiana. You can read more about Amanda at Horticulture magazine where she posts regularly or follow her on twitter for a steady stream of garden advice mixed with awesome sass and irreverence.

amanda thomsen kiss my aster

I originally had not planned to include pictures of my inspiration people…you never know how someone feels about photos of themselves. But I had to, because don’t you think those flowers on her sweater sort of look like Filipendula rubra (or maybe strawberries)?

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rochelle greayer

Hi, I'm Rochelle and for 18 years I have worked as a landscape designer, author/writer, and design teacher. I've designed residential and hospitality (for hotels, restaurants, and spas) gardens across the USA and in the UK, Europe and the Middle East. After many years of teaching garden design topics in person, I launched the PITH + VIGOR Boot Camp series in early 2018. Through my blog, social media, and online courses (Garden Design Bootcamp and Planting Design Boot Camp) I aim to help homeowners learn how to confidently design and create home gardens that reflect their own personal and unique style.
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  1. Amanda Thomsen on June 6, 2009 at 8:10 am

    OH! Thanks a million! this makes me feel about 6′ tall with shocking pink hair!

  2. jeanannvk on June 6, 2009 at 10:11 am

    I think this is just perfect…she IS the Queen of the Prairie!

  3. susan morrison (garden chick) on June 6, 2009 at 1:34 pm

    I follow Kiss My Aster on Twitter as well – her tweets are crazy cool.

    Just found this series on natives and think it’s a great idea. I of course went back through the archives to find my own state of California! I like the idea of focusing on just a few plants. Interest in natives is growing steadily in California, but is often intimidating for people who don’t know much about them and are not ready to go all out. It helps to be able to just dip your toe in at first.

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