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, April 9, 2012

Plant of the week: Eared Coreopsis (Coreopsis auriculata)

This bright and cheery flower brings much color to the woodland border and stands out when planted in front of wild geranium or one of our native beard tongues like hairy, smooth, or small's which gives the yellow-purplish-pink color combination.  Lyre leaf sage is another good companion plant for more acidic soils. This species isn't too particular about soil ph but does like a mesic, well-drained soil and does not like clay.  It will often die out quickly when planted in heavy clay soils whereas when planted in well-drained, moist soils it will expand via underground rhizomes and form a nice, thick mat with flowers extending to 18" tall and leaves that do not get above about 6" tall. It does best with morning to mid-afternoon sun with afternoon shade and so the woodland edge is the ideal location for this species.  It typically flowers around the first of May, although this year it is in full flower right now.  It has a typical coreopsis bright yellow flower and the foliage can persist all year.  The leaves are quite distinctive with the lobes.  It does attract bees and butterflies.  There are two common cultivars in the trade, 'Nana' a dwarf form and 'Zamphir' which is a dense clumping form with more fluted orange-yellow petals.  Coreopsis are sometimes called tickseeds because their seeds superficially resemble ticks.

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