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

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Saturday - October 03, 2009

From: Mooresville, NC
Region: Southeast
Topic: Water Gardens, Groundcovers, Shrubs
Title: Plants for wet soils in North Carolina
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I'm looking for evergreen plants (shrubs or ground cover)that will tolerate wet conditions for the zone 8 area of North Carolina. The local garden centers here do not stock these types of plants, even though much of the soil around here is prone to wetness from overflowing streams, lots of rain, topography, etc! Thank you.

ANSWER:

Here are various evergreen plants that tolerate, or require, wet soils in North Carolina:

TREES/SHRUBS:

Chamaedaphne calyculata (leatherleaf)

Chamaecyparis thyoides (Atlantic white cedar)

Ilex glabra (inkberry)

Morella cerifera (wax myrtle)

Rhododendron maximum (great laurel)

Vaccinium macrocarpon (cranberry)

VARIOUS HERBACEOUS PLANTS:

Adiantum capillus-veneris (common maidenhair) is evergreen in mild winters.

Carex cherokeensis (Cherokee sedge)

Eleocharis montevidensis (sand spikerush)

Equisetum hyemale (scouringrush horsetail)

Gelsemium rankinii (Rankin's trumpetflower) and here are photos and more information.

Hydrocotyle umbellata (manyflower marshpennywort)

Maianthemum canadense (Canada mayflower)

Rhynchospora colorata (starrush whitetop)

You can search for nurseries that specialize in native plants in your area in our National Suppliers Directory.

 

From the Image Gallery


Leatherleaf
Chamaedaphne calyculata

Atlantic white cedar
Chamaecyparis thyoides

Inkberry
Ilex glabra

Wax myrtle
Morella cerifera

Great laurel
Rhododendron maximum

Cranberry
Vaccinium macrocarpon

Southern maidenhair fern
Adiantum capillus-veneris

Cherokee sedge
Carex cherokeensis

Sand spikerush
Eleocharis montevidensis

Scouring-rush horsetail
Equisetum hyemale

Manyflower marsh-pennywort
Hydrocotyle umbellata

Starrush whitetop
Rhynchospora colorata

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