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 2, 2013

Plant of the Week: Spoonleaf Sundew (Drosera intermedia)

This is probably the most eye-catching of the temperate sundews that are cold tolerant. Adult plants get up to 5 inches tall and 5 inches in diameter although they rarely get this large growing in the wild. Its uniform shape gives it the appearance of a miniature tree and when the sun shines on the plant it becomes almost translucent. It is only known from one location in Kentucky, but the native range is all along the east coast up into Canada over to Minnesota and down to Texas. Of all the sundews that can be grown in the garden, this one requires substantially more moister than the others and it is often found growing in standing water. If you have a bog garden, this is one area where you might mix the peat to coarse sand in a 1:1 mixture and keep it wet (near the source of water). While this plant can go dormant throughout much of its range, sometimes up to 9 months, there are two forms available in the trade 'Cuba' and 'Mt. Romaima, Venezuela' that do not go dormant and would be showy right now.  Like other carnivorous plants, this little gem traps insects on the sticky hairs of their leaves, then digest them for nutrients and is usually grown under low nutrient conditions. In Kentucky, try growing it in a bog or create a small bog in a half whiskey barrel or other large pot with the appropriate peat moss and sand mixture.  Remember to keep in the full sun and never let it dry out.  Other species that can be grown with this that are available in the trade include various other sundews like filiformis, capillaris, rotundifolia, and anglica; pitcher plants including white-topped, yellow, hooded, purple and many new exciting hybrids, some orchids like grass pinks and rose pogonia, and some other interesting species.  Creating native bog gardens and habitats is another fascinating way of exploring native plants in the landscape and I know when I grew them, all the neighborhood kids were fascinated by the plants that turned the table on the animal world.

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