Thursday, May 24, 2012

Plants for Rain Gardens

iris1 I mentioned yesterday that I’m in the process of planning a rain garden. I’ve been doing a little bit of research, trying to find plants that might work for the areas we have, which are all fairly shady. As a personal preference, I also don’t want plants that are going to grow too tall and block my view of the rest of the yard.

Here’s a list I found in the Rain Garden Design and Construction Handbook which I mentioned in my previous post. The complete list (in the booklet) provides a lot more information about each specific plant. There are quite a few that look like they will work in our shady locations and not get too tall, including swamp milkweed, blue mistflower, and blue flag iris.

Here is a list of suitable Native Plants from the Rain Garden Design and Construction Handbook which I found on the Northern Virginia Regional Commission website.

Common Name Scientific Name Light Size
Flowering Perennials      
Swamp milkweed Asclepias incarnata Sun-pt. shade 2-4’
New England Aster Symphotrichum novae-angliae Sun 2-4’
Turtlehead Chelone glabra Sun-shade 3-6’
Blue mistflower Conoclinium coelestinum Sun-shade 1-3’
Joe-Pye weed Eupatorium fistulosum Sun-pt. shade 3-8’
Ox-eye sunflower Heliopsis helianthoides Sun-pt. shade 3-5’
Marsh mallow Hibiscus moscheutos Sun 3-5’
Blue flag Iris versicolor Sun-pt. shade 2-3’
Blazingstar Liatris spicata Sun-pt. shade 3-4’
Cardinal flower Lobelia cardinalis Sun-shade 3-6’
Beardtongue Penstemon digitalis Sun-pt. shade 2-5’
Obedient plant Physostegia virginiana Sun-shade 3-5’
Wild bergamot Monarda fistulosa Sun-pt. shade 2-4’
Beebalm Monarda didyma Sun-pt. shade 3-4’
Black-eyed susan Rudbeckia hirta Sun-pt. shade 1-3’
Rough-stemmed goldenrod Solidago rugosa Sun-pt. shade 3-5’
Blue vervain Verbena hastata Sun-pt. shade 2-5’
Ironweed Vernonia noveboracensis Sun-pt. shade 5-8’
Grasses, Grass-like Plants & Ferns      
Broomsedge Andropogon virginicus Sun-pt. shade 1-3’
Sea oats Chasmanthium latifolium Sun-pt. shade 2-4’
Soft rush Juncus effusus Sun-pt. shade 1-3’
Cinnamon fern Osmunda cinnamonea Sun-shade 3-5’
Royal fern Osmunda regalis Sun-shade 2-6’
Switchgrass Panicum virgatum Sun-pt. shade 3-6’
Indian grass Sorghastrum nutans Sun-pt. shade 3-6’
Shrubs & Trees      
Serviceberry Amelanchier canadensis Sun-shade 15-25’
Red chokeberry Aronia arbutifolia Sun-pt. shade 6-12’
Black chokeberry Aronia melanocarpa Sun-pt. shade 3-6’
Buttonbush Cephalanthus occidentalis Sun-shade 6-12’
Silky dogwood Cornus amomum Sun-shade 6-12’
Winterberry Ilex verticillata Sun-shade 6-12’
Virginia sweetspire Itea virginica Sun-shade 4-8’
Spicebush Lindera benzoin Pt. shade-shade 6-12’
Ninebark Physocarpus opulifolius Sun-pt. shade 6-12’
Elderberry Sambucus canadensis Sun-shade 6-12’
Highbush blueberry Vaccinium corymbosum Sun-shade 6-12’
Arrowwood viburnum Viburnum dentatum Sun-shade 6-8’

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