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, June 9, 2014

Plant of the Week: Indian Pink (Spigelia marilandica)

Early summer in most woodland gardens is pretty boring because the spring ephemerals have flowered and are gone and the later summer lilies, cohosh and other species have not yet flowered.  This plant, which is not that uncommon in southern Kentucky is a real gem of a woodland edge or woodland flower and is quite at home in full shade, full sun, part shade and full sun for much of the day.This is an easy to grow species in rich, moist soil and will spread over time to form large colonies in some cases supporting over 75 individual flowers in mature clumps.  It flowers in late May and June and if you cut back the flowerheads, it will rebloom during the summer. The glossy green pointed egg shaped leaves grow up to 4" long and the flower reaches heights of 2".On top of the already mentioned great attributes, this species only gets about 18" tall.  This can also be easily divided and moved to other areas around the garden. The Cherokee Indians used this as a ritual or ceremonial herb to induce visions and to foretell the future. There can be no doubt this is a real show stopper in any perennial garden.This plant has no known disease or insect problems and the one great attribute about this species, is that it is a hummingbird magnet, right up there with cardinal flower.  One combination I like for real show stopping is to use sundrops (a bright yellow and showy flower) as an accent to the red flowers of Indian Pink. Finally, this species enjoys being drought tolerant.  Because of its showy nature, numerous nurseries sell this species.

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