Auburn’s Keisel Park Demonstration Garden begun as a collaboration between Lee County Cooperative Extension Office Master Gardening Class of 2000 and Auburn City Parks and Recreation, this sanctuary provides examples of natives that grow well in our area, as well as gardening ideas to utilize in home gardening and landscape plantings. The following natives are found here:
Aesculusparviflora, bottlebrush buckeye is a summer flowering shrub for shady areas. It is deciduous, multi-stemmed and can be pruned to less than its natural 6-12 foot height. In mid-summer, long white tubular panicles with showy red anthers attract hummingbirds. In fall, the palmate leaves turn yellow.
Aristolochia macrophylla, pipevine is a fast-growing deciduous vine sporting large heart shaped leaves. It climbs 20-35 feet by means of twining stems. Pipe shaped flowers are green/burgundy with a yellow tube. This plant is seen in southern Appalachian hardwood forests and is the host plant for Pipevine Swallowtail.
Asimina triloba, common pawpaw is a short-trunked, 10-14 foot tall understory tree. Its leaves are large and look tropical. This native is the only host plant for Zebra Swallowtail and attracts Pawpaw Sphinx moth.
Viburnum obovatum, ‘Best Densa’ is a dwarf cultivar of this semi-evergreen species of the honeysuckle family. The tightly packed small leaves provide a dense cover for songbirds and turn red in winter. The small white flowers cover the plant in spring and provide berries, which start out red, but turn shiny black and supply food for songbirds later in the season.
Volunteers are welcome. If you would like to volunteer to help at any of the Lee County Master Gardener projects, please contact the Lee County Cooperative Extension Service Office, 600 S. 7th Street, Opelika AL 36801 to be connected with a project leader. Office: 334-749-3353