Originally Appeared in The Botanical Artist - Volume 18, Issue 3

RHS Botanical Art Exhibition March 2012 Awards Gold Medal

Heeyoung Kim, from Illinois, USA, showed her collection of eight paintings of American prairie plants at the Royal Horticultural Society London in March. She used graphite pencil and watercolor for two iconic yellow prairie plants, Silphium terebinthinaceum, Prairie Dock, and Silphium laciniatum, Compass Plant. Two blue prairie plants, Gentianopsis crinita, Fringed Gentian and Tradescantia ohiensis, Ohio Spiderwort showed off their unearthly beauty to plant enthusiasts. Two seasonal depictions of Apocynum cannabinum, Weedy Indian Hemp, drew attention with exquisite details. Lastly, two pink prairie flowers, Filipendula rubra, Queen-of-the-Prairie and Dodecatheon meadia, Shooting Star lightened the chilly early spring in London.

Heeyoung’s paintings and her devotion for Midwest native plant documentation were awarded by the gold medal. She rearranged the RHS show panel at her local public library right after the London show. The feedback from viewers and media was beyond her expectations, with comments of “The whole city was in awe.” And “We are totally amazed by the beauty of ‘weedy’ wild flowers!” reflecting a perfect moment when botanical art connects the public and ecoconservation effort.


  • Filipendula rubra, 21x25”, watercolor on paper, ©Heeoung Kim 2011