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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.

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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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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!

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Wednesday - April 20, 2011

From: East Stroudsburg, PA
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Water Gardens
Title: Need an attractive plant to help stabilize a wet area in East Stroudsburg PA.
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

We have a small run off from one pond to another. At the bottom of the slope, the area is always wet--and not from the run off. Is there a low growing plant that would provide a root system to help stabilize the bank and provide an attractive feature?

ANSWER:

Mr. Smarty Plants is going to show you how to use the Native Plant Database to identify some plants that might thrive in the situation that you described. Click on the link above, scroll down to the Combination Search box, and make the following selections: select Pennsylvania under State, Herb under General Appearance, and Perennial under  Lifespan. Ckeck Sun under Light Requirement and Wet under Soil Moisture. Click the Narrow Your Search button and you will get a list of 76 native species that meet these criteria. Clicking on the Scientific name of each plant will bring up its NPIN page where you can learn characteristics of the plant, such as habitat, size, growing conditions, benefits, etc. as well as see photos.

I spent a few minutes doing this and came up with the following list which seems interesting to me. Check the NPIN page for each of the plants on the list to see if their characteristics match the situation that you have. Then, of course, check out the other 76 plants from the Database and make your own selections. You can generate different lists by changing the criteria that you select.

Iris versicolor (Harlequin blueflag)

Geum rivale (Purple avens)

Lilium canadense (Canada lily)

Asclepias incarnata (Swamp milkweed)

Equisetum hyemale (Canuela)

Using our National Suppliers Directory can help you find businesses that sell the plants that youchose.


Iris versicolor


Geum rivale


Lilium canadense


Asclepias incarnata

 

 

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