En EspaŅol
Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Mr. Smarty Plants - Plants for edge of intermittent stream

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
Not Yet Rated

Sunday - July 05, 2009

From: Austin, TX
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Water Gardens
Title: Plants for edge of intermittent stream
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I have a friend in Washington DC who is having runoff problems. She is having a drycreek installed. What kind of plants are native to her area that will withstand flash flood and intermittent dry conditions?

ANSWER:

The plants you describe are exactly the kind of plants needed in rain gardens.  Here is the description of rain garden plants on the Montgomery County (Maryland) Department of Environmental Protection RainScapes site:

"The plants for rain gardens need to be able to withstand extreme conditions of moisture from the very wet to the very dry."

The Rainscapes site has an excellent list of native plants, Rainscapes Plants for Rain Gardens, that have been used in the Montgomery County area. Your friend can use that list in conjunction with our Native Plant Database to look for plants for the new drycreek area.  The easiest way to search in our Native Plant Database is with the botanical name.  However, some of the botanical names have changed (e.g., Aster sp. has now become Symphotrichum sp.) and searching by botanical name in this situation will not yield positive results.  Searching by common name will probably work in that case. Here are a few suggestions from that list:

Asclepias incarnata (swamp milkweed)

Coreopsis verticillata (whorled tickseed)

Conoclinium coelestinum (blue mistflower)

Hibiscus moscheutos (crimsoneyed rosemallow)

Lobelia siphilitica (great blue lobelia)

Physostegia virginiana (obedient plant)

Tradescantia virginiana (Virginia spiderwort)

Chasmanthium latifolium (Inland sea oats)

Panicum virgatum (switchgrass)

Schizachyrium scoparium (little bluestem)

Cephalanthus occidentalis (common buttonbush)

Calycanthus floridus (eastern sweetshrub)


Asclepias incarnata

Coreopsis verticillata

Conoclinium coelestinum

Hibiscus moscheutos

Lobelia siphilitica

Physostegia virginiana

Tradescantia virginiana

Chasmanthium latifolium

Panicum virgatum

Schizachyrium scoparium

Cephalanthus occidentalis

Calycanthus floridus

 

 

 

More Water Gardens Questions

Overwintering a Juncus effusus in Great Neck, NY
October 23, 2008 - Can I over winter a juncus effusus spiralis indoors or must it be kept outdoors? Whether indoors or outdoors, what is the proper way to keep it alive during the winter months?
view the full question and answer

Plants for freestanding water in Oklahoma
July 28, 2013 - I have an overflowing gutter and the ground below becomes a muddy hole. I'd like to put a basin or pot in/or above the ground with a rain chain. Are there any plants--shrubs or otherwise that flouris...
view the full question and answer

Best time to plant wetland plants in NY
April 19, 2010 - Hello Mr. Smarty Plants - I'm working on a fresh water, shoreline wetland creation project in New York State. I've created two zones of native wetland plantings, an emergent shallow marsh zone ...
view the full question and answer

Propagation information from Queens NY
October 04, 2012 - Hello. I would appreciate information on when to plant the following plants. I found on the USDA website that all these plants could withstand the cold. ALthough they can withstand harsh weather, ...
view the full question and answer

Water-loving native plants for Pottstown, PA
September 11, 2009 - I live about 40 miles west of Philadelphia. I am looking for a water absorbing evergreen tree/bush/plant that I could plant in the rear of my yard. We get a small stream every good rain and the back...
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
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center