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
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

Plants for floodplain in Fairfield, New Jersey
March 21, 2010 - I have an easy question for you... I hope... We just moved into the floodplains of NJ in Fairfield and are interested in some plants. We would like to know what plants are best suited to grow in flood...
view the full question and answer

Rain garden plants for Ketonah, NY
March 30, 2010 - Rain garden plant selections for lower NY state
view the full question and answer

Rain garden for South Austin
March 01, 2010 - I have a TINY yard in south Austin. It is 8'x25', sandwiched between four houses and happens to be at the lowest elevation, so all of the neighbor's yards drain to ours. Originally, we had bermud...
view the full question and answer

Retention pond from Hendersonville NC
April 24, 2012 - We have a retention pond that has recently been cleaned and we would like to plant perennial native plant and grass seeds that will enhance the appearance and contribute to the natural process of filt...
view the full question and answer

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

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