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Wednesday - April 20, 2011

From: East Stroudsburg, PA
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Water Gardens
Title: Need an attractive plant to help stabilize a wet area in East Stroudsburg PA.
Answered by: Jimmy Mills


We have a small run off from one pond to another. At the bottom of the slope, the area is always wet--and not from the run off. Is there a low growing plant that would provide a root system to help stabilize the bank and provide an attractive feature?


Mr. Smarty Plants is going to show you how to use the Native Plant Database to identify some plants that might thrive in the situation that you described. Click on the link above, scroll down to the Combination Search box, and make the following selections: select Pennsylvania under State, Herb under General Appearance, and Perennial under  Lifespan. Ckeck Sun under Light Requirement and Wet under Soil Moisture. Click the Narrow Your Search button and you will get a list of 76 native species that meet these criteria. Clicking on the Scientific name of each plant will bring up its NPIN page where you can learn characteristics of the plant, such as habitat, size, growing conditions, benefits, etc. as well as see photos.

I spent a few minutes doing this and came up with the following list which seems interesting to me. Check the NPIN page for each of the plants on the list to see if their characteristics match the situation that you have. Then, of course, check out the other 76 plants from the Database and make your own selections. You can generate different lists by changing the criteria that you select.

Iris versicolor (Harlequin blueflag)

Geum rivale (Purple avens)

Lilium canadense (Canada lily)

Asclepias incarnata (Swamp milkweed)

Equisetum hyemale (Canuela)

Using our National Suppliers Directory can help you find businesses that sell the plants that youchose.

Iris versicolor

Geum rivale

Lilium canadense

Asclepias incarnata



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