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.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Plant of the Week: Eastern Redbud (Cercis canadensis)

When used en masse at the edge of a woodland garden as a focal point or specimen tree, this early blooming small tree deserves to be in everyone's yard. Put some dogwoods or serviceberry (Juneberry, Sarvis), or even a Carolina Silverbell for an outstanding spring display that will draw you into the wild woodland garden.  This is generally, although not always, a multi-trunk small tree that can get 30' tall and is often found along roadsides, cut-over forests, as an understory tree, or as a street tree.  It is a legume and has the most beautiful purple to pink pea like flowers. This species has heart shaped to near circular leaves that turn yellow in the fall and the tree usually produces a large quantities of bean like seed pods.  It is very easy to grow in average soil in part-shade.  It can tolerate a wide range of soils except wet or poorly drained soils.  It is easy to grow and should be planted at a young age because it grows fast and has a tendency to not transplant well. Keeping the tree healthy, through pruning, watering and fertilization is essential because it is susceptible to canker, Japanese beetles, verticillium wilt, dieback, leaf spots, and mildew.  The genus comes from the Greek word kerkis which is in reference to the seed pods resembling a weaver’s shuttle.  There are a wide variety of cultivars available even a weeping type called 'whitewater.' 'Alba' has white flowers and 'Silver-cloud' has leaves variegated with cream. 

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