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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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Tuesday - February 24, 2015

From: Charleston, SC
Region: Southeast
Topic: Plant Lists, Herbs/Forbs, Wildflowers
Title: Short, Shady Plants for South Carolina
Answered by: Anne Van Nest

QUESTION:

I have a shady part of my mother's garden that doesn't drain very well. Do you have any suggestions as to what type of flowers or plants (preferably native to S.C.) that aren't red that might grow here? I'd like it to be rather short and fairly self-sustaining, if that isn't to much to ask!

ANSWER:

There are a good number of short native plants that grow in moist shade in South Carolina for you to consider. The challenge will be to find the most self-sustaining suggestion for your mother's garden. To start, head to the Native Plant Database and select: South Carolina, Herb, Perennial, Shade, Wet and 1-3 Feet for the search criteria.

Some of the plants that fit this criteria (and hopefully are fairly self-sustaining) include:

Actaea pachypoda (white baneberry) Note: The fruit is poisonous.

Arisaema triphyllum (Jack in the pulpit)

Athyrium filix-femina (common ladyfern)

Caltha palustris (yellow marsh marigold)

Enemion biternatum (Eastern false rue anemone)

Lobelia siphilitica (great blue lobelia)

Lysimachia ciliata (fringed loosestrife)

Zephyranthes atamasca (atamasco lily)

 

You may also want to search for shrubs or subshrubs in the Native Plant Database too.

 

 

From the Image Gallery


White baneberry
Actaea pachypoda

White baneberry
Actaea pachypoda

Jack in the pulpit
Arisaema triphyllum

Common lady fern
Athyrium filix-femina

Yellow marsh marigold
Caltha palustris

Eastern false rue anemone
Enemion biternatum

Great blue lobelia
Lobelia siphilitica

Fringed loosestrife
Lysimachia ciliata

Atamasco lily
Zephyranthes atamasca

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