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
1 rating

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.

 

More Rain Gardens Questions

Expanding clay soils near rain garden
May 11, 2009 - I want to put a rain garden in my yard in central TX (Kyle). My subdivision architectural review committee expressed concerns about the expansive clay soils becoming saturated and possibly shortening...
view the full question and answer

Construction problems on site in Mansfield OH
April 28, 2012 - Last year we had a rectangular above ground pool put in the person who "leveled" for use did a terrible job and basically dug a huge hole for us to put our pool in. The back side of the pool is abou...
view the full question and answer

Groundcover for a wet hillside in the San Juan Islands
July 30, 2014 - I live on Orcas Island in WA state. We have a place on the water and want to plant something that is no taller than 2-3 feet, lower if possible, on a hillside. The hillside gets lots of sun, yet als...
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

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

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