Blooming Prince bush in California draws crowds, worship of the late artist

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A Prince bush grows in the front of Christine Stein's Citrus Heights, Calif. yard. It started blooming on Easter Sunday. Photo: Christine Stein.

A devoted Prince fan in California is not only convinced that the artist has “rejoined the universe,” but believes she witnessed an Easter wonder that has brought people from across the country to pay homage to the late, great purple wonder.

Two Sundays ago, Christine Stein, 36, came outside her Citrus Heights home to find a mural she had created of Prince two years ago had a blooming bush surrounding it, bursting with flowers and buzzing with bees for the first time. Nightingales have even made the shrub their home and they sing and warble to the neighborhood.

The bush – specifically, a Red-Tip Photinia – appears perfectly around Prince’s head, and looks like a flowery halo of hair. Her husband is supposed to trim the bush, but hasn’t in a year, which is why the bush has grown so large.

Stein, originally from Daly City and a San Jose State industrial engineer graduate, thought the image was so stunning that she posted in on Facebook on Easter. The post went viral, she told KTVU on Monday, and the news trucks – and the Prince pilgrims – have been flocking to her home ever since.

“I’ve had people from LA, Minnesota, and Georgia come to my house and lay down in the driveway,” Stein said. “They leave their own art. Someone from Anchorage just called me to say they’re coming to visit.”

On the one hand, she said she finds it “kind of creepy” to find people “worshipping” Prince on her property. 

But on the other hand, she also wants to conjure up the altruistic spirit of Prince, who had supported many charities and acted with kindness and generosity throughout his life, much of which had remained private until his death in 2016.

Stein, who tries to live a good, Catholic life, believes that Prince would believe her bush is the “most beautiful bush in the world,” and that her front yard art is a sign.

“There is so much bad news in the world,” she said. “but this is so uplifting. I didn’t mean to be someone to inspire others to make their own Prince bush. But I guess it has. There have been so many comments of how this has brought out positivity and hope.”