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

Tuesday - August 03, 2010

From: New York, NY
Region: Northeast
Topic: Rain Gardens
Title: Plants for a bioswale in New York City
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I am interested in learning about the best vegetation for planting in a bioswale in New York City. Can you help? Thanks!

ANSWER:

Bioswales, or rain gardens, require plants that must be able to tolerate growing in standing water, but also need to be able to thrive when the water dries up.  Below are some that should work in your New York City bioswale.  Since I don't know the other aspects of your site, such as how much sunlight it gets, you should check the GROWING CONDITIONS on each of the species pages to see if they are compatible with those of your site. 

Grasses/Grass-like

Andropogon glomeratus (bushy bluestem)

Carex stipata (owlfruit sedge)

Calamagrostis canadensis (bluejoint)

Perennials

Asclepias incarnata (swamp milkweed)

Chelone glabra (white turtlehead)

Hibiscus moscheutos (crimsoneyed rosemallow)

Monarda didyma (scarlet beebalm)

Ferns

Athyrium filix-femina (common ladyfern)

Osmunda cinnamomea (cinnamon fern)

Shrubs

Cephalanthus occidentalis (common buttonbush)

Physocarpus opulifolius (common ninebark)

Clethra alnifolia (coastal sweetpepperbush)

Here are photos from our Image Gallery:


Andropogon glomeratus

Carex stipata

Calamagrostis canadensis

Asclepias incarnata

Chelone glabra

Hibiscus moscheutos

Monarda didyma

Athyrium filix-femina

Osmunda cinnamomea

Cephalanthus occidentalis

Physocarpus opulifolius

Clethra alnifolia

 

 

 

More Rain Gardens Questions

Riverbank retention in VA
March 26, 2012 - I need some groundcover/bank retention for a Virginia riverbank in mixed sun and shade. I want to plant something native to VA. the area is out of the water but subject to occasional (4-5 times per y...
view the full question and answer

Native Plants for a water collection pit in Bronson, FL
August 22, 2013 - I live near Gainesville, FL in a low rural area with many cypress swamps around & bought this 5 acres 2 years ago. About 15 years ago a pit was dug on my 5 acres to give the rainwater somewhere to go...
view the full question and answer

Raingardens in Indiana
May 09, 2012 - I need to have annual native plants to add to a demonstration rain garden to fill in while we wait for the perennial plants to mature. The only plant I can think of is annual phlox. Do you have any ...
view the full question and answer

Rain garden for South Austin
March 01, 2010 - I have a TINY yard in south Austin. It is 8'x25', sandwiched between four houses and happens to be at the lowest elevation, so all of the neighbor's yards drain to ours. Originally, we had bermud...
view the full question and answer

Looking for native plants for a rain garden in Arlington, TX.
March 12, 2012 - I am looking for native Texas plants that would do well in rain gardens. Do you have any suggestions?
view the full question and answer

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