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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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Saturday - July 01, 2006

From: Chicago, IL
Region: Southwest
Topic: Shade Tolerant
Title: Green roof plants tolerating shade
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I am researching extensive greenroof plants for a potential site in Austin. The roof surface is shaded for most days of the the year. Are there any top choices for plants for this condition?

ANSWER:

it is unusual to have a roof that will be shaded most of the year. The plants recommended for green roofs are generally ones that do well in full sun or part shade. You can see a list of the plants being tested for extensive greenroofs at the Wildflower Center by visiting our Green Roof Research page. Several of the plants being tested are recommended for part shade. These are:

Winecup ( Callirhoe involucrata)
Indian blanket (Gaillardia pulchella)
Four-nerve daisy (Tetraneuris scaposa)
Barbara's buttons (Marshallia caespitosa)
Spice-Lily (Manfreda maculosa)

The following candidate species are not currently being tested, but they do grow well in the shade and have low water requirements:

Texas sedge (Carex texensis)
Red columbine (Aquilegia canadensis)
Cedar sage (Salvia roemeriana)
Scarlet sage (Salvia coccinea)
Drummond's Wild Petunia (Ruellia drummondiana)
Pigeon berry (Rivina humilis)
 

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