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, August 26, 2013

Plant of the Week: Tall Green Milkweed (Asclepias hirtella)

This is one of the lesser known milkweeds found in western Kentucky and is considered rare which is probably why it is not very well known.  However, like most other milkweeds it is a magnet for monarch caterpillars.  I really like the delicate nature and color of the flower clusters on the 1 1/2 - 3' tall species that has light greenish to reddish stems that are soft and hairy.  It has narrow leaves that are 2 - 6" long and 1/2" across.  It likes full sun and can tolerate moist to dry soil that is sandy, gravelly, loamy or clay-loamy.  The primary pollinators for this species are long-tongued bees and wasps although small butterflies and skippers will also pollinate it.  It is a host plant for several unique moths and is not eaten, usually by deer and other mammals, because it has that waxy, latex sap that is bitter to the taste. The seed floss or fluff of the plants in this genus was used by American colonists as pillow stuffing and was collected during WWII by school children for use in life-preserves. Since this plant prefers sandy soils good companion plants would be Indian grass, prairie sage (Artemesia ludoviciana), white false indigo, and rough blazingstar. 


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