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, April 21, 2014

Plant of the Week: American Bladdernut (Staphylea trifolia)

This is a wonderful woodland small tree or large shrub that has interest in the spring with the white bell shaped flowers and in the fall when the fruits appear as papery thin inflated bladders that appear like Chinese lanterns.  Because of the wonderful seed capsules, branches and fruits make an interesting addition to dried flower arrangements.  In the spring, you often see tiger swallowtail butterflies nectaring on the blooms although it is a great pollinator plant as native bees and honeybees relish this as a mid-spring source of nectar.  I like this species because it is very drought tolerant and can tolerate heavy clay or rocky soils in addition to heavy shade conditions.  Thus it can be a great addition to the home landscape.  This native tree/shrub is a suckering species that rarely gets above 15' tall but can form a clump up to 15' in diameter under the proper conditions.  Furthermore it is a fast growing species. It has compound trifoliate (3 parted) leaves that are oval in shape.  It has no serious disease or insect problems and white-tailed deer prefer not to browse the leaves..

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