Queen-of-the-prairie is a rare wild spiraea which blossoms in July in certain chosen spots in northern Illinois. It is a plant not of the western prairies but of those extending west of the Alleghenies from Pennsylvania across to Iowa and into Michigan, and down even into Georgia where the true prairie does not exist. The specimen photographed by Mr. Voss was found in Tazewell County near East Peoria.
Filipendula rubra (Hill) Robins.
It grows in a sunny bog where the summer sun beats down and the marsh wrens clatter in the distant sedges. The plant is compact with several broad, deeply lobed and toothed, veiny, bright green leaves, and a slender, woody stem. At the top of the stem is a plume of peach-blossom flowers which are irresistible to passing butterflies and are buzzed around by bees.
These flowers not only are the color of peach blossoms, hut are like them in miniature, with a fluff of white stamens standing tall about each flower so that the blossom head presents a delicate and ethereal appearance. Five-petaled, rose-pink, fragrant, the small blossoms of queen-of-the-prairie show their true kinship to the rose family where they properly belong.
The young marsh wrens leave the nests in the sedges. The blackbirds are flocking. Now in the September marsh the queen-of-the-prairie, its leaves a rusty green and drooping a bit, holds a spike of glossy brown seed pods to the warm late sun.