Friday, May 7, 2010

2 Favorite Native Plants

Ninebark is a woody shrub that grows on the banks of Ozark streams so is adapted to wet areas. It's a member of the rose family. It also grows on ditch banks. I transplanted one to my yard in sandy soil in part shade where it isn't that wet (next to where I park my car) and it does pretty well. I do have to prune out some dead stalks every year.

After the blooms fade, the spent blooms hold their interesting shapes and provide interest for several months afterwards. Their color continues to darken, so it's becomes closer to an earthy orange. Height is about 5 1/2 feet with a spread of at least that, as the branches arch and droop. This particular one gets afternoon sun.

A public service announcement from the Univ. of Florida recommends native plants because they're more adapted and require less care. Another plus for natives is that they reseed. A great ground cover that I really love is the white violet. Not only do they self-sow, but they mound up around other perennials and really last a long time. I have several more favorites, but I'll save those for another day.

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