Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Rain Garden Plants

The Plants
One of the most exciting things about rain gardens is the opportunity they provide to plant native species in urban areas, thus helping to restore urban habitat for birds and pollinators like bumblebees and butterflies. We’ve pulled together a list of species that have been used in rain gardens in Nova Scotia and Maine here.

Plant Common Name
Plant Latin Name
Dwarf Goat's Beard
Aruncus aethusifolius
Woods Purple New York Aster
Aster novi-belgii
Blue Flag Iris
Iris veriscolor
Switch Grass
Panicum Virgatum
Hard Sheild Fern
Polystichum aculeatum
Goldsturm Black-Eyed Susan
Rudbeckia fulgida "Goldsturm"
Red twig Dogwood
Cornus sericea
Sweet Flag
Acorus americanus
Swamp Milkweed
Asclepius incarnata
Marsh Marigold
Caltha palustris
White Turtle Head
Chelone glabra
Christmas Fern
Polystichum acrostichoides
New England Aster
Symphyotrichum novae-angliae
Vernal Witch Hazel
Hamamelis vernalis
Native Rhododendron
Rhododendron canadense
Labrador tea
Ledum groenlandicum
Ilex verticillata
Royal fern
Osmunda regalis
Native Columbine
Aquilegia canadensis
Sensitive Fern
Onoclea sensibilis
Cardinal Flower
Lobelia cardinalis
Sweet Fern
Comptonia peregrina
Arctostaplylos uva-ursi
Wild geranium
Geranium maculatum
Northern Maidenhair Fern
Adiantum pedatum
Joe Pye Weed
Eupatorium maculatum
Amelanchier canadensis
Myrica pensylvanica
Blood root
Sanguinaria canadensis
Wild raisin
Viburnum nudum

When selecting plants, consider its growing preferences and features:
·         Native or non-native?
·         Sun or shade
·         Acidic or alkaline soils
·         Nitrogen fixer?
·         Full-size shape & size
·         Moisture tolerance
·         Edible/medicinal?
·         Wildlife benefits?

The Dalhousie rain garden features:
Sweetfern (Comptonia peregrina)
Serviceberry (Amelanchier canadensis)
Bayberry (Myrica pensylvanica)
Blue Flag Iris (Iris versicolor)
Joe Pye Weed (Eupatorium maculatum)
Black Eyed Susan (Rudbeckia fulgida)
Foam Flower (Tiarella cordifolia)
Christmas Fern (Polystichum acrostichoides)
Ostrich Fern (Matteuccia struthiopteris)
Sensitive Fern (Onoclea sensibilis)

The Evergreen Native Plant Database is a great tool for learning about and choosing native plants. If you really want to be sure a plant is native to Nova Scotia and learn about its natural habitat, consult Roland’s tome, The Flora of Nova Scotia, available online here: Part 1 and Part 2.

It can be a challenge to find sources of native plants, and even as the garden was being planned, some nurseries were closing. Here’s a list of nurseries in Nova Scotia that supply native plants suitable for rain gardens.

Baldwin Nurseries Falmouth, NS 798-9468 www.baldwinnurseries.com
Blomidon Nurseries Wolfville, NS 542-2295 www.blomidonnurseries.net/home
Bunchberry Nurseries Upper Clements, NS 532-7777 www.bunchberrynurseries.ca/
Oceanview Garden and Landscaping Chester, NS 275-2505 www.plantcrazy.ca

Ouestville Perennials West Pubnico, NS 762-3198 www.ouestvilleperennials.com

1 comment:

  1. The plant selection tips under the "Rain Garden Plants" posting are not properly formatted; would someone please update this post with corrections?