Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

Support the plant database you love!

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
10 ratings

Sunday - January 06, 2008

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Rain Gardens
Title: Plants for a bioswale or rain garden
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, What plants do you recommend for a bioswale or rain garden in Austin, 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. The plants below should meet those criteria and will do well in sun or partial shade (2 to 6 hours sun per day).

GRASSES/GRASS-LIKE:

Chasmanthium latifolium (Inland sea oats)

Tripsacum dactyloides (eastern gamagrass)

Carex cherokeensis (Cherokee sedge)

Rhynchospora colorata (starrush whitetop)

Equisetum hyemale var. affine (scouringrush horsetail)

SHRUBS/SMALL TREES:

Cephalanthus occidentalis (common buttonbush)

Cornus drummondii (roughleaf dogwood)

Amorpha fruticosa (desert false indigo)

Hibiscus laevis (halberdleaf rosemallow)

Hibiscus moscheutos (crimsoneyed rosemallow)

Sabal minor (dwarf palmetto)

Baccharis halimifolia (eastern baccharis)

TALL HERBACEOUS:

Justicia americana (American water-willow)

Lobelia cardinalis (cardinalflower)

Physostegia intermedia (slender false dragonhead)

Asclepias incarnata (swamp milkweed)

Hydrolea ovata (ovate false fiddleleaf)

Teucrium canadense (Canada germander)

LOW HERBACEOUS:

Viola sororia (common blue violet)

Phyla nodiflora (turkey tangle fogfruit)

Marsilea vestita (hairy waterclover)


Chasmanthium latifolium

Tripsacum dactyloides

Carex cherokeensis

Rhynchospora colorata

Equisetum hyemale var. affine

Cephalanthus occidentalis

Cornus drummondii

Amorpha fruticosa

Hibiscus laevis

Hibiscus moscheutos

Sabal minor

Baccharis halimifolia

Justicia americana

Lobelia cardinalis

Physostegia intermedia

Asclepias incarnata

Hydrolea ovata

Teucrium canadense

Viola sororia

Phyla nodiflora

Marsilea vestita

 

 

More Rain Gardens Questions

Plants for freestanding water in Oklahoma
July 28, 2013 - I have an overflowing gutter and the ground below becomes a muddy hole. I'd like to put a basin or pot in/or above the ground with a rain chain. Are there any plants--shrubs or otherwise that flouris...
view the full question and answer

Native plants for rain garden in Collin Co., TX
November 09, 2006 - 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 ...
view the full question and answer

Native plants beneficial to wildlife in Cincinnati, OH
April 25, 2008 - I live in Cincinnati, Ohio and I am looking for native plants to plant in a small area of trees behind my house. I would like the plants to be beneficial for wildlife, like maybe some wildflowers. T...
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

Edible Plants for a Virginia Rain Garden
October 21, 2009 - Can you recommend edible plants that would be appropriate for use in a rain garden? I'm located in Charlottesville, VA, but this can be in general as well.
view the full question and answer

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