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 30, 2012

Plant of the Week: Golden St. John's Wort (Hypericum frondosum)

It goes by the name cedar glade or golden St. John's wort and it is one colorful, small to medium sized shrub, reaching a maximum height of 10', that is prolific in its production of bright yellow, 1" wide flowers.  This is really an adaptable landscape plant because it can be found growing at the edge of cedar glades and growing at the edge of wetlands.  It is very drought tolerant and likes full sun but can tolerate some shade.  It generally likes neutral soils but can tolerate some acidity, down to around 6.6 pH.   It can even take clay soils but typically does not do as well as when planted in more loamy soils.  In the true native species the leaves are glossy dark green whereas in the cultivar version 'sunburst' the leaves are more dull gray looking.  It typically flowers in late May through July and can remain in flower for more than a month.  The flowers occur on new wood, so late frosts are not a problem and once done flowering, a little light pruning will produce a very attractive, shaped bush although the reddish seed pods are quite distinctive and showy.  This is a southeastern species and Kentucky is at the northern edge of its range where it is deciduous; whereas, in southern climes it can be semi-evergreen to evergreen. It has winter interest because mature woody stems have dark purple to reddish brown exfoliating bark. The cultivar 'sunburst' is a shorter, more compact version with slightly larger flowers and different looking foliage. You should mulch this plant and as for disease problems, look for wilt or root rot. This is a great plant for hedges, drifts in the wildflower garden, or even as a specimen plant or anchor focal point in the garden.

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