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?


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
4 ratings

Wednesday - October 21, 2009

From: Charlottesville, VA
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Rain Gardens
Title: Edible Plants for a Virginia Rain Garden
Answered by: Dean Garrett


Can you recommend edible plants that would be appropriate for use in a rain garden? I'm located in Charlottesville, VA, but this can be in general as well.


There are several edible plants native to your area that should do well in the seasonal poor drainge of a rain garden.

Leaves for teas and seasoning:

Edible fruit:

Edible roots:

That should get you started. For more information about rain gardens in your state, check out this .pdf file from the Virginia Department of Forestry: Rain Gardens Technical Guide.

Monarda didyma

Pycnanthemum virginianum

Salvia lyrata

Lindera benzoin

Persea borbonia

Asimina triloba

Vaccinium corymbosum

Morus rubra

Rubus idaeus ssp. strigosus

Rubus trivialis

Helianthus tuberosus


Monarda clinopodia

More Rain Gardens Questions

Plants for difficult site in Jacksonville, TX
July 07, 2010 - East Texas (Cherokee County) red clay hillside, hard-packed, difficult to get to, 40' of it slopes 4' down in about 6'! Another 30' of it is flat. Between the hillside and the flat clay area is a...
view the full question and answer

Rain garden for Washington MO
March 08, 2013 - I have a 40' tall bald cypress at the bottom right corner of my sloped yard (slopes from 2 sides, has 3 gutter runoffs directed towards it from 50-70' away). Can I put a series of retaining walls up...
view the full question and answer

Plants for floodplain in Fairfield, New Jersey
March 21, 2010 - I have an easy question for you... I hope... We just moved into the floodplains of NJ in Fairfield and are interested in some plants. We would like to know what plants are best suited to grow in flood...
view the full question and answer

Native plants for a bioswale in Indianapolis
March 07, 2009 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, Can you please recommend the types of plants I should use in a bioswale or rain garden in Indiana?
view the full question and answer

Rain Garden plant for N. Mississippi
March 03, 2010 - Rain Garden Plants for North Mississippi/Mid-South Region. I wish the search parameters included plants which tolerate seasonal flooding and droughts, so that each state might search for its own r...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center