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, November 5, 2012

Plant of the Week: Barbara's Button (Marshallia grandiflora)

One of the biggest complaints about using native plants in the landscape is that they get too tall and are not showy enough.  While this generalization proves true for some of the prairie or open meadow species, it certainly does not pertain to this species.  This species will form a 10" clump with leaves that protrud 6" or so from the ground and when it flowers in May, sends up flowering stalks that are usually no longer than 18", if that.  Furthermore, the individual heads are more than 1" to1 1/2"across and when placed in a group, will have many, many flower heads per clump.  This member of the daisy or aster family is a globally rare plant that occurs from Pennsylvania down to Tennessee and North Carolina and is considered endangered in Kentucky.  It usually grows along the edges of streams or on gravel bars of rivers where water scours them occassionally.   Obviously then this species likes wet soils (not clay) that drain but where the water table is close to the soil surface.  They flower best in full sun but can handle some late afternoon shade.  They can be easily propagated from seed or division and can form a nice clump rather quickly.It was named for 18th century plant lover, DR. Moses Marshall.  Several nurseries carry this species and it is well deserving of a spot in any native plant garden.

1 comment: