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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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Friday - June 25, 2010

From: Pana, IL
Region: Midwest
Topic: Rain Gardens
Title: Plants for area with occasional standing water in Illinois
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

..similar to the question posed by the Aurora, Illinois bioswale on 11/30/2009 - I am an architect who designed the reconstruction of a historic structure in Pana, Illinois and have an area that is approximately 20'x20' and forms a bowl next to the structure that in heavy rains contains water until it permeates the soil - my intent has been to plant native species that will use the moisture/water, etc. - what are the best plants for this locale..

ANSWER:

With the exception of Alnus incana (gray alder) listed in the Aurora, Illinois bioswale question, all of the plants listed would be appropriate for an area that holds water after a rain in Christian County, Illinois.  The gray alder occurs naturally only in the northeast corner of Illinois near Aurora's Kane County.   All of the plants are capable of growing for short periods of time in standing water and, also, without standing water. If you would like to find different plants that fit this description that are native to Christian County or adjacent counties, visit the Illinois Recommended page and use the NARROW YOUR SEARCH option in the sidebar.  Choose 'Wet - saturated' from SOIL MOISTURE and choose other characteristics that match your site.  You can check whether any species is native to Christian County or adjacent counties by scrolling to the bottom of each species page and, under ADDITIONAL RESOURCES, clicking on the USDA link.  This will take you to the USDA Plants Database page for the species where you will see a map of the US and Canada.  Clicking on Illinois will give you a map of Illinois showing the counties with records of the plant.  If the plant has been recorded in nearby or adjacent counties, it will probably fare well in Christian County. 

 

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