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 28, 2014

Plant of the Week: Wild Hyacinth (Camassia scilloides)

This is one of the showy late spring woodland wildflowers that can form a large colony but is a great plant for attracting honeybees, bumblebees, Cuckoo bees and Halictid bees.  It is fairly easy to grow in the garden and reproduces primarily by seeds, and that is how it is often available at native plant nurseries. In early spring this perennial has basal leaves that look somewhat like a droopy grass or sedge leaf that can be 1 1/2' across.  When the flowering stalk appears, usually in early May, it grows to about 2' tall.  Leaves are flowering time are about 6" in length and they have a very prominent vein in the center.  The individual flowers have 6 tepals, 6 stamens, and a bright green ovary.  The leaves and plant will be gone in the garden by mid-summer with no signs the plant existed in the spring.  Each seed capsules has many dark black seeds and it takes years for the bulb to mature to produce a plant that will flower.It is like most native woodland flowers in that it likes loamy soil in shade to part-shade and moist soil conditions. Good companion plants would be things like ferns and waterleaf, particularly those with mottled leaves.  It can also work well with other later blooming species like wild geranium.  Deer will browse the basal leaves but typically do not heavily graze the more mature plants.

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