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
Not Yet Rated

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. 

 

More Rain Gardens Questions

Rain garden plants for DC
March 23, 2011 - Please recommend deep-rooted, native, perennial plants, 1-3 feet high, for an area that is moist and gets approximately 3 hours of day of afternoon sun. During rain storms this garden is in a low area...
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

Managing a wet area in Austin
November 18, 2013 - I suspect that my backyard lies at the very top of a creek watershed. However, all of the water flowing through it gets blocked by a solid stone wall. Whenever we get a significant rain event, part ...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants on water-absorbing plants
July 19, 2005 - I am looking for water-absorbing plants for L.A. zone. I am hoping this type of vegetation would ease the water retention problem at the planter right next to my basement. Is this a feasible solutio...
view the full question and answer

Plants for a bioswale in TX
February 18, 2011 - Dear Mr.Smarty Plants, What kind of plants are best suited for a bioswale in Edinburg, Texas?
view the full question and answer

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