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

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

Installation of a bioswale in Decatur IL
July 22, 2009 - I want to install a bioswale in a 15' wide, 50' long ditch on a relatively steep hill. The ditch already has rip rap in it. Do I need to remove all the rip rap before starting construction, or can...
view the full question and answer

School Rain Garden in Iowa
January 08, 2013 - Could you recommend plants for a rain garden to be installed on a middle school campus in the Council Bluffs Iowa area???? Many thanks!
view the full question and answer

Plants for a ditch in PA
June 09, 2012 - I have a property in the suburbs about 20 miles south of Philadelphia, PA. There is a small creek running across the property. The "ditch" holding the creek is about 5 feet across, but the creek i...
view the full question and answer

Rain garden plants at the April Plant Sale
March 31, 2015 - In answering the question about "rain garden" plants on March 20, 2010, you offered a list of plants. Which of these will be offered at the spring sale coming up on April 10-12? Thanks.
view the full question and answer

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