Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
1 rating

Monday - June 22, 2009

From: Milwaukee, WI
Region: Midwest
Topic: Shade Tolerant
Title: Plants for a shady garden in Wisconsin
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I have a shady garden in southeastern Wisconsin (Milwaukee) and am interested in introducing more native plants of all sizes and heights, hopefully with lovely flowers. I would love to know what you might suggest. Thank you.

ANSWER:

Please see our Recommended Species page and choose Wisconsin from the map or the pull-down menu.  This will give you a list of more than 170 native plants that are commercially available for landscaping in Wisconsin.  You can use the NARROW YOUR SEARCH option to find plants suitable for the shade by selecting 'Shade - 2 hrs or less' under Light Requirement.  You can also make selections under Soil Moisture and General Appearance.  Here are a few suggestions from the list:

Aquilegia canadensis (red columbine)

Arisaema triphyllum (Jack in the pulpit)

Arctostaphylos uva-ursi (kinnikinnick)

Cornus alternifolia (alternateleaf dogwood)

Dicentra cucullaria (dutchman's breeches)

Dryopteris cristata (crested woodfern)

Hypericum prolificum (shrubby St. Johnswort)

Lobelia cardinalis (cardinalflower)

Lilium philadelphicum (wood lily)

Mertensia virginica (Virginia bluebells)

Ostrya virginiana (hophornbeam)

Rhus glabra (smooth sumac)

There are many more choices from the Recommended Species list for Wisconsin.


Aquilegia canadensis

Arisaema triphyllum

Arctostaphylos uva-ursi

Cornus alternifolia

Dicentra cucullaria

Dryopteris cristata

Hypericum prolificum

Lobelia cardinalis

Lilium philadelphicum

Mertensia virginica

Ostrya virginiana

 

 

More Shade Tolerant Questions

Colorful flowering plants in shade of live oak in Louisiana
November 29, 2013 - What colorful flowering plants can be grown near the shady base of live oak trees in the Deep South?
view the full question and answer

Groundcover to prevent erosion in Florida
November 04, 2012 - I live on a hill and put in a new side driveway and now I am seeing erosion along the driveway and can see the bottom of my concrete. Grass won't grow because its all shaded. What would be the best g...
view the full question and answer

Carex as a shady turf alternative in Austin
November 10, 2009 - I just read your answer to Barbara Medford's question about what multi-species native grasses would work to create a shady lawn. While you had some wonderful suggestions you mention a homeowner's as...
view the full question and answer

Salt tolerant plants for shade on tidal inlet in NY
August 11, 2013 - Are there any salt water tolerant grasses or forbs with deep roots that grow in shade? I live on a tidal inlet/canal on Long Island NY. The southern bank has cedars and oaks but the soil is eroding ...
view the full question and answer

Ground cover under Juniper for San Antonio
September 14, 2012 - I have a shaded area under juniper in the Hill Country of Texas that has many sprouts from the tree. We have to weed whack it to keep them under control. What ground cover could I use to enhance tha...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.