Welcome to the Kentucky Native Plant and Wildlife Blog.

Welcome to the Kentucky Native Plant and Wildlife Blog.
The purpose of this blog is to provide information on using native plants in the landscape, issues related to invasive exotic plants, urban wildlife management, and wildlife damage management. It is my intention that this information will assist you in deciphering the multitude of information circulating around the web and condense in some meaningful method as it relates to Kentucky. In addition, I hope to highlight a native plant that can be used in the landscape.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Plant of the Week: Copper or Red Iris, Iris fulva

Of all our native iris species that grow in full sunlight, this may very well be the easiest of all to grow.  While it is normally found in far southwestern Kentucky, and is on our official threatened and endangered species list in Kentucky, it grows in gardens all over the state.  It's normal habitat is wetland soils that are permanently or semi-permanently saturated with water but this delicate species does very well in average garden soil.  It is so easy to grow and easy to propagate from division.  This species has lovely terra-cotta reddish flowers (occasionally found with bright yellow flowers 'Lois Yellow') that are highly attractive to hummingbirds when in bloom in early to mid-May.  The dark green sword like leaves reach a height of 2' and the flowers are a bit smaller than many of the other native or horticultural irises.  This species belongs to a large group called Louisiana Iris and there are at least 43 named cultivars and it is grouped as a beardless, crestless iris (Louisiana group) which has been hybridized with other species in the group including I. brevicaulis, I. hexagona, I. vinicolor, and I. giganticaerulea.  It has no major disease or insect problems but is susceptible to Iris fulva mosaic potyvirus.

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