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, October 3, 2012

Plant of the Week: American Beautyberry (Callicarpa americana)

This is a southern species of shrub but appears to grow pretty well in Kentucky.  It is fairly quick growing shrub that can reach heights of up to 8' tall with a spread about as wide as it is tall.  The most distinctive feature this time of the year are the bright purple berries, relished by birds.  The plant has coarse, fuzzy green oppositely arranged green leaves that appear on long, drooping branches giving it a very graceful appearance.  In late spring and early summer, light pink flowers are borne in the leaf axils in late spring and summer.  The old wood should be pruned in late fall to early spring since the flowers and fruit occur on new growth.  It is relatively easy to grow in a variety of soil types ranging from acidic to slightly alkaline and likes part--sun and part-shade.  It is not highly drought tolerant, especially if planted in full sun.  It does have fragrant flowers and the Native Americans used it for colic, stomach aches, dysentery, and fevers.  Be aware that deer love this plant so it is not a good species for use in areas with high deer densities.

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