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.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Plant of the Week: Addison's Leather Flower (Clematis addisonii)

This beautiful native, small vine, is only known to occur in four western Virginia counties in dry woods, openings, and rock outcroppings with calcareous soils.  It only grows here because it is found on a unique geological formation called the Elbrook formation, which is mostly dolomite with some limestone, shale and siltstone. While this native habitat is about 5 hours from Lexington, it is only a couple hours east of the Kentucky border and it does very well here in Kentucky because of our calcareous (limestone based) soils and being pretty much at the same latitude on the map.  It has just begun flowering here and it is such a smallish, delicate vine, reaching about 2 to 2.5 feet tall, with very smooth leaves and one plant I observed had over a dozen of the characteristic bluish purplish white tipped urn shaped flowers dangling from purplish stems.  Like most climbing clematis or American bells, the stems are pretty fragile and the leaves are simple, not complex.  The plant dies back each winter and then begins vigorous growth in the spring.  Given the right conditions it will flower all summer long.  It likes part sun but can take full sun or a good bit of shade and the more sun, the more it flowers.  It likes well drained soil (no clay) and does like rich soils but can do okay without them.   This plant was named for Addison Brown, one of the founders of the New York Botanical Garden.  The two nurseries I know that carry this species are Plant Delights and Brushwood Gardens, but they typically sell out of this species quickly each year because it is such a great plant.  Try growing it along a woodland border sprawling around some of the skullcaps (Scutellaria), butterfly milkweed, coreopsis, and other shorter growing full sun species or make it a specimen plant and put in two or three for a magnificent show.

1 comment:

  1. AnonymousJune 27, 2014

    I have one of these plants, it is pink, but it is a climber it climbs everywhere. I love it and didn't know what it was for a long time. Since mine climbs so much, could it be a different species?