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.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Plant of the Week: Bleeding Heart (Dicentra eximia)

I absolutely love this plant even though it is technically not a native to Kentucky.  It occurs in states adjacent to us, does very well in woodland gardens here, and is very easy to grow.  This is one of the larger members of this group which also includes Squirrel Corn and Dutchman's Breeches (which makes for an interesting combination since it grows to about 12 to 15" tall, much taller than the others which are more prostrate.  It typically flowers in April and the dissected leaves look outstanding even after the plant has flowered, which can last a month or more in late spring.  Like most native woodland plants it likes average well drained soil, not too wet and not too dry, with lots of rich humus and light shade.  It has very few pest problems, if any, and will naturalize if it likes where it is placed. This native species should not be confused with the larger Asian species D. spectabilis which is taller, wider, has larger flowers, the leaves are less dissected and the flowers don't appear in as tight a cluster as the native species and are on arching stems.  Another reason to love this plant is that it is largely deer resistant and it goes well with so many other woodland plants like Jacob's ladder, blue phlox, yellow corydalis, foam flower, coral bells and dwarf crested iris.  This is such a great plant that many nurseries carry it.
Growing with starry cleft plhlox and yellow corydalis.
Growing with Jacob's Ladder.

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