Explore Plants

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
    
 

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
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:

 

 

 

More Rain Gardens Questions

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

Native plants for rain garden in Collin Co., TX
November 09, 2006 - I am developing a Collin County Master Gardenerís program on Rain Gardens (in particular) and Rain Harvesting (generally.) I saw the recent article in your magazine about rain gardens and wondered if ...
view the full question and answer

Rain garden plants for NC
April 19, 2010 - I have a small creek at the back of our property, it's normally dry except when it rains. Builders removed the natural plants and left it bare. What native plants could I plant in it to bring it bac...
view the full question and answer

Plants for area with occasional standing water in Illinois
June 25, 2010 - ..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 ap...
view the full question and answer

Native Texas plants for rain gardens
March 07, 2007 - I am looking for native Texas plants that would do well in very shady and partial shade rain gardens. Do you have any suggestions?
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.