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.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Plant of the Week: Trailing Lespedeza (Lespedeza repens)

This is not the large showy garden plant that many folks are used to having in their landscapes.  However, this little gem does have a role to play in the rock garden or in areas that are extremely dry, rocky, or sandy where little else will grow.  This could also be an excellent rock garden plant as it creeps along the ground and can form a large mat of vegetation.  The lespedezas, for which there are many, many species, are well known for their soil nutrient increasing capabilities, and this species is certainly no different, except it is diminutive. This plant maybe gets up 12” from the ground when in flower, but when I have seen it in the wild, it is always prostrate on the ground.  It has long trailing branches that support small clover like leaves with three leaflets.  It has typical pea like flowers since it is a legume and the color can vary from violet to pink to white tinged with shades of purple.  This produces a preferred seed for bobwhite quail but other birds have a tendency to leave it alone.  The normal range for this plant is pretty much all of the eastern United States and will stay in flower from June through October or freeze in Kentucky.  Surprisingly this species is used in gardens in Europe and China but not so much in North America, its native habitat.

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