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
Not Yet Rated

Sunday - June 09, 2013

From: Mt Washington, MA
Region: Northeast
Topic: Shade Tolerant, Grasses or Grass-like, Herbs/Forbs, Shrubs, Wildflowers
Title: Plants for a Shady Woodland in MA
Answered by: Anne Van Nest

QUESTION:

Hello, I am looking for natives to plant in full shade or part shade. My house is in the mountain woodland area of Mt. Washington, MA. I am looking for grasses, flowers and shrubs. Also I am looking for natives to plant along a creek where the soil is always wet.

ANSWER:

The first place to go to find a list of potential plants is our Native Plant Database. Use the Combination Search feature instead of Recommended Species. This will provide a bigger selection with much more choice to narrow down. The volunteers and staff at the Wildflower Center who maintain the database have partners in different regions to help with these recommended species lists based on what is easy to access in local nurseries.
Under Combination Search, select the following categories: State – Massachusetts, Habit – shrubs, and then search again for grasses and herbs (for herbaceous), Duration – perennial, Light Requirement – full shade and part shade, and Soil Moisture - moist. You can further narrow down the list of potential plants by indicating whether you prefer a deciduous or evergreen plants, specific blooming times or blooming colors.
The result is 100 shrubs, 224 herbaceous and 59 grasses to consider.
Some of the plants that met your criteria include:

Shrubs
Amelanchier sanguinea (roundleaf serviceberry)
Kalmia latifolia (mountain laurel)
Symphoricarpos orbiculatus (coralberry)
Viburnum lantanoides (hobblebush)
Perennials
Arisaema triphyllum (Jack in the pulpit)
Asclepias incarnata (swamp milkweed)
Filipendula rubra (Queen of the prairie)
Lobelia cardinalis (cardinal flower)
Grasses
Andropogon gerardii (big bluestem)
Panicum virgatum (switchgrass)
Sorghastrum nutans (Indiangrass)




 

From the Image Gallery


Jack in the pulpit
Arisaema triphyllum

Jack in the pulpit
Arisaema triphyllum

Swamp milkweed
Asclepias incarnata

Queen of the prairie
Filipendula rubra

Cardinal flower
Lobelia cardinalis

Roundleaf serviceberry
Amelanchier sanguinea

Mountain laurel
Kalmia latifolia

Coralberry
Symphoricarpos orbiculatus

Hobblebush
Viburnum lantanoides

Big bluestem
Andropogon gerardii

Indiangrass
Sorghastrum nutans

Switchgrass
Panicum virgatum

More Shrubs Questions

Tiny red bugs on Mountain Laurel from San Antonio TX
April 02, 2014 - Hordes of solid bright red tiny bugs are all over the bark of my Mountain Laurels. The infestation has me very worried. How can I deal with them? Thank you in advance for helping solve this problem.
view the full question and answer

Possumhaw losing leaves in Liberty Hill, TX.
July 11, 2011 - I have two female possumhaw trees and one of them is losing its leaves. I planted both of them in February and they were doing very well, getting green and full. What's happening?
view the full question and answer

Blue Mist Ageratum Shrub?
June 16, 2015 - Is there a shrub version of Blue Mistflower Ageratum? I believe we saw some at the Butterfly Center in MacAllen. Would it survive in Georgetown, TX?
view the full question and answer

Plants for 100 gal. pot by pool from Ft. Worth TX
June 23, 2012 - What North Texas evergreen or combination of evergreen plants, bushes or trees could thrive in a huge, 100-gallon clay pot (immovable!) that is situated in full sun year round in an exposed area n...
view the full question and answer


May 01, 2015 - Greetings! I am hoping to gain privacy on a 30' swath with existing 6' privacy fence, I need about 14' of height to hide unsightly apartments. Location is full sun without a nearby spigot, I can ...
view the full question and answer

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