En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
9 ratings

Sunday - January 06, 2008

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Rain Gardens
Title: Plants for a bioswale or rain garden
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, What plants do you recommend for a bioswale or rain garden in Austin, Texas?

ANSWER:

Rain garden plants need to be able to tolerate growing in standing water, but also need to be able to thrive when the water dries up. The plants below should meet those criteria and will do well in sun or partial shade (2 to 6 hours sun per day).

GRASSES/GRASS-LIKE:

Chasmanthium latifolium (Inland sea oats)

Tripsacum dactyloides (eastern gamagrass)

Carex cherokeensis (Cherokee sedge)

Rhynchospora colorata (starrush whitetop)

Equisetum hyemale var. affine (scouringrush horsetail)

SHRUBS/SMALL TREES:

Cephalanthus occidentalis (common buttonbush)

Cornus drummondii (roughleaf dogwood)

Amorpha fruticosa (desert false indigo)

Hibiscus laevis (halberdleaf rosemallow)

Hibiscus moscheutos (crimsoneyed rosemallow)

Sabal minor (dwarf palmetto)

Baccharis halimifolia (eastern baccharis)

TALL HERBACEOUS:

Justicia americana (American water-willow)

Lobelia cardinalis (cardinalflower)

Physostegia intermedia (slender false dragonhead)

Asclepias incarnata (swamp milkweed)

Hydrolea ovata (ovate false fiddleleaf)

Teucrium canadense (Canada germander)

LOW HERBACEOUS:

Viola sororia (common blue violet)

Phyla nodiflora (turkey tangle fogfruit)

Marsilea vestita (hairy waterclover)


Chasmanthium latifolium

Tripsacum dactyloides

Carex cherokeensis

Rhynchospora colorata

Equisetum hyemale var. affine

Cephalanthus occidentalis

Cornus drummondii

Amorpha fruticosa

Hibiscus laevis

Hibiscus moscheutos

Sabal minor

Baccharis halimifolia

Justicia americana

Lobelia cardinalis

Physostegia intermedia

Asclepias incarnata

Hydrolea ovata

Teucrium canadense

Viola sororia

Phyla nodiflora

Marsilea vestita

 

 

More Rain Gardens Questions

plants for a rain garden's moist area in Central Texas
January 15, 2015 - I am looking for local natives to plant in the wet portion of a rain garden/bioswale. Can you help, please?
view the full question and answer

Expanding clay soils near rain garden
May 11, 2009 - I want to put a rain garden in my yard in central TX (Kyle). My subdivision architectural review committee expressed concerns about the expansive clay soils becoming saturated and possibly shortening...
view the full question and answer

What plants can absorb the excess water in my back yard?
February 20, 2009 - I am looking for any plants and trees that can absorb the excess water in my back yard. There is a large area that is swampy and always wet. Could you please provide me some suggestions?
view the full question and answer

Rain garden plants for DC
March 23, 2011 - Please recommend deep-rooted, native, perennial plants, 1-3 feet high, for an area that is moist and gets approximately 3 hours of day of afternoon sun. During rain storms this garden is in a low area...
view the full question and answer

Looking for native plants for a rain garden in Arlington, TX.
March 12, 2012 - I am looking for native Texas plants that would do well in rain gardens. Do you have any suggestions?
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center