Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Rain Garden Plants

We are creating a rain garden at one of the master garden sites that I volunteer at. I am trying to gather some plants before next week to plant in that garden. I found this helpful list for a start.

Midwest and Great Plains states and south central Canada
Wildflowers, Ferns, Grasses, and Sedges:

* Aster puniceus, Purple-stemmed aster
* Caltha palustris, Marsh marigold
* Eupatorium maculatum, Joe-pye weed
* Eupatorium perfoliatum, Boneset
* Geum rivale, Bog avens
* Helianthus grosseratus, Big-toothed sunflower
* Liatris pycnostachya, Prairie blazing star
* Lobelia spicata, Pale-spiked lobelia
* Mimulus ringens, Monkey flower
* Solidago spp., including S. gigantea, S. ohioensis, and S. riddellii, Goldenrods
* Verbena hasta, Blue vervain
* Vernonia gigantea, ssp. gigantea, Tall ironweed
* Thelypteris palustris, Marsh fern
* Calamagrostis canadensis, Canada bluejoint
* Carex comosa, Bottlebrush sedge
* Carex muskingumensis, Palm sedge

Trees and Shrubs:

* Alnus incana ssp. rugosa, Speckled alder
* Asimina triloba, Pawpaw
* Betula nigra, River birch
* Decodon verticillata, Water willow
* Myrica gale, Sweet gale
* Sambucus canadensis, American elderberry
* Spiraea virginiana, Spirea
* Viburnum dentatum, Arrowwood

"Rain gardens are attractive landscaped areas planted with perennial native plants that do not mind getting "wet feet." Build in a saucer shape, rain gardens allow water to percolate into the ground. The benefits of rain gardens are multiple. Rain gardens:

* Help keep water clean by filtering storm water runoff before it enters local waterways
* Help alleviate problems with flooding and drainage
* Enhance the beauty of yards and communities
* Provide habitat and food for wildlife like birds and butterflies

Recent studies by the US Environmental Protection Agency have shown that a substantial amount of the pollution in our streams, rivers and lakes is carried there by runoff from practices we carry out in our own yards and gardens! Some of the common "non-point source pollutants" from our yards end up in our local waterways include soil, fertilizers, pesticides, pet wastes, grass clippings and other yard debris.

Planting rain gardens is a great way to help our communities "bloom," making them more attractive places to live while maintaining watershed health!"

Here are a few more choices from Northern

Here are a few of my favorite rain garden plants:

* Butterfly Flower (Asclepias tuberosa)
* Yarrow “Coronation Gold” (Achillea “Coronation Gold”)
* Purple Prairie Clover (Dalea purpureum)
* Feather Reed Grass “Karl Foerster” (Calamogrostis “Karl Foerster”)
* Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea)
* Bee balm (Monarda fistulosa)
* Blazing Star (Liatris spp.)
* Little Bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium)
* Black-Eyed Susan “Goldsturm” (Rudbeckia fulgida “Goldsturm”)
* Obedient Plant (Physostegia virginianum)
* Anise Hyssop (Agastache foeniculum)

Plants for Consistently Wet Soils

* Joe-Pye Weed (Eupatorium maculatum)
* Swamp Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata)
* Cardinal Flower (Lobelia cardinalis_
* Pink Turtlehead (Chelone spp.)
* Virginia Bluebells (Mertensia virginica) shade
* Obedient Plant (Physostegia virginiana)
* Switchgrass “Heavy Metal” (Panicum virgatum “Heavy Metal”)
* Marsh marigold (Caltha palustris)

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