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, March 12, 2012

Plant of the Week: White-leaf Leather Flower (Clematis glaucophylla)

Looking for a well-behaved 12 - 15' vine with bluish-green foliage and striking pink to red flowers that hummingbirds adore?  Look no further than the white-leaf leather flower, a rare southeastern species that is now in production and offered by a couple of nurseries.  This is one of those delicate vines that can be used along a fence or trellis or climbing in a short tree or shrub.  If pruned properly, this wonderfully showy plant will flower all summer long and you have the added bonus of the feathery seed pods that contrast nicely with the foliage and flowers. WOW! This plant does best with more sun than shade and if it is kept moist, will flower most prolifically in the full sun.  The long, linear flower superficially resembles C. texensis although it is not nearly as deep red and the underside of the tough, leathery flowers is light yellow in color.  Flowers appear on new growth only so you will want to cut this back every spring to a couple of buds and if you want to keep it flowering during the summer, continuing pruning the old flowers.  This species would be an excellent candidate for the front porch climbing up the supports or railing.  It needs to be kept moist during the entire growing season and it can grow in either neutral or somewhat acidic soils. As with most clematis, do not expect much the first growing season as it probably will not flower at all.  It might have a few flowers in year two and by year three it should have plenty of flowers and be well established.  Also, like most clematis, this species does not like to be moved once planted, so pick your location carefully.  This species is available in the trade from Sunlight Gardens, and Brushwood nursery.  Nurseries typically sell out of these quickly so now is the time to order for planting this spring.

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