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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.

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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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Thursday - November 09, 2006

From: Collin County, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Rain Gardens
Title: Native plants for rain garden in Collin Co., TX
Answered by: Nan Hampton and Andrea DeLong-Amaya

QUESTION:

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 you have recommendations for plants for rain gardens in north Texas?

ANSWER:

Rain garden plants need to be able to tolerate growing in standing water, but also need to be able to thrive when the water dries up. Here are suggestions for several ornamental native species that meet those criteria and that all occur in, or very near, Collin County, Texas.

GRASSES/GRASS-LIKE:

Bushy bluestem, Andropogon glomeratus
Gulf muhley, Muhlenbergia capillaris
Eastern gamagrass, Tripsacum dactyloides
Sedges, Carex sp. (e.g., Meadow sedge, C. perdentata)


BUSHES/SMALL TREES:

Buttonbush, Cephalanthus occidentalis
Roughleaf dogwood, Cornus drummondii
False indigo, Amorpha fruticosa
Marshmallow hibiscus, Hibiscus moscheutos
Scarlet rose mallow, Hibiscus laevis
Palmetto, Sabal minor
Baccharis, Baccharis halimifolia


TALL HERBACEOUS:

American waterwillow, Justicia americana
Cardinal flower, Lobelia cardinalis
Physostegia sp. (e.g., Obedient plant, P. intermedia)
Swamp milkweed, Asclepias incarnata
Pluchea sp. (e.g., Saltmarsh fleabane, Pluchea odorata)
River primrose, Oenothera jamesii
Blue water leaf, Hydrolea ovata
American germander, Teucrium canadense


LOW HERBACEOUS:

Meadow violet, Viola sororia
Phyla sp. (e.g., Texas frogfruit, P. nodiflora)
Hydrocotyle sp. (e.g., Water pennywort, H. umbellata
Water clover, Marsilea vestita

"Showering of Gifts" by Julie Bawden Davis is in the Summer 2006 (Volume 22, number 4) issue of Native Plants, the former name of the Wildflower Center's quarterly magazine. You may be able to find a copy in your local library. Members of the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center now receive our new publication Wildflower, published quarterly.

 

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