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, December 3, 2012

Plant of the Week: Little Brown Jug (Hexastylis arifolia)

Sometimes finding plants to provide something interesting in the winter garden is difficult.  Fortunately we have a fair number of somewhat evergreen herbaceous species that can fill that void.  This is one of the most interesting ones, the little brown jug.  This member of the birthwort family is one of four species in the state and is the most common as the other three are rare, threatened or endangered.  In the winter the heart-leaf shaped leaves appear mottled or variegated with darkish venation and when the new leaves appear in the spring they look bright to dull green with no visible venation.  The plant grows only about 3 to 4" above the soil surface and the leaves are several inches across and 3-4 inches long.  The plant gets its name from the small, brown, urn-shaped flowers that are often below the leaf litter. This is definitely a shade garden species and likes moist soils high in organic matter.  The plants are primarily pollinated by ants and excellent companion plants include dwarf and dwarf crested iris, Allegheny spurge, wild ginger, green-and-gold, and violet oxalis.  These should be planted in the front of the bed so that taller species do not detract from their interesting foliage.

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