Choosing Plants for Water and Wet Areas


Choosing plants for use in water and wet areas should be well suited for the purpose. There are plants that have to live in the water, plants that grow in wet soil or shallow water, and plants that grow in wet areas. This is a alphabetical listing of plants in each of the three categories. You can incorporate these wonderful plants into your water features and backyard ponds.

"Aquatic Plants for Water"

Aquatic Plants that grow in the water

Aquatic Plants: Those that must live in water

American lotus (Nelumbo lutea)

Arrow arum (Peltandra virginica)

Arrowhear (Sagittaria)

Water hyacinth (Eichhornia)

Water lettuce (Pistia)

Water lilies (Nymphea)

Semi-Aquatic Plants: Those that grow in wet soil or shallow water. (These plants do well in bogs)

"Plants that grow in wet soil and shallow water"

Cattails thrive in wet soil and shallow water

Arrow arum (Peltandra virginica)

Arrowhead (Sagittaria)

Blue flag (Iris versicolor)

Cattail (Typha latifolia)

Giant reed (Arundo)

Golden club (Orontium)

Narrow-leafed cattail (Typha angustifolia)

Pitcher plant (Sarracenia purpurea)

Royal fern (Osmunda regalis)

Sweet flag (Acorus calamus)

Water clover (Marsilea)

Yellow flag (Iris pseudacorus)

Yellow pond lily, bullhead lily (Nuphar)

"Plants for Swampy areas"

Plants for swampy areas

Plants for Wet Areas

Instead of draining a swampy spot, consider planting some of the following. Specialty nurseries offer these plants, and you may find some growing wild that you can get permission to move.

Bee balm (Monarda)

Blue bog violet (Viola cucullata)

Blue lobelia (Lobelia siphilitica)

Boltonia (boltonia asteroides)

Boneset (Eupatorium perfoliatum)

Cardinal flower (Lobelia cardinalis)

Cattail (Typha)

Closed gentian (Gentiana andrewsii)

Culver’r root (Veronicastrum virginicum)

Ferns, cinnamon, royal, and sensitive varieties

Forget-me-not (Myosotis)

Joe Pye-weed (Eupatorium maculatum)

Lanced-leaf goldenrod (Solidago graminifolia)

Marsh marigold (Caltha palustris)

New England aster (Aster novae-angliae)

Plantain lily (Hosta)

Ragged robin (Lynchnis flos-cucli)

Rose mallow (Hibiscus moscheutos)

Siberian iris (Iris sibirica)

Summer phlox (Phlox maculata)

Swamp buttercup (Ranunculus)

Swamp candles (Lysimachia terrestris)

Swamp milkweed (Asclepias incarnata)

Virginia bluebells (Metensia)

Ornamental Grasses for Bog Areas

The ornamental grasses that like moisture are colorful in fall and wintwr, but some kinds are so aggressive, they can crowd out other plants. Many of these are good for planting around the perimeter of an earthen pond or stream.

Bowles’ golden sedge (Carex elata)

Bulbous oat grass (Arrhenatherum elatius var.bulbosum)

Feather reed grass (Calamagrostis acutiflora ‘Stricta’)

Japanese silver grass (Miscanthus sinensis)

Quaking grass (Briza media)

Switch-grass (Panicum virgatum)

White-striped ribbon grass (Phalaris arundinacea ‘Picta’)

Zebra grass (Miscanthus sinensis ‘Zebrinus’)

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