Plants for Freshwater Wetlands & Wet Sites

The following plants may be used to create or enhance freshwater marshes or swamps or to stabilize and enhance streambanks, riverbanks or pond edges.

Remember to match the plants’ growth requirements with the site conditions. Wetness tolerated by these plants is provided in this guide in terms of frequency and duration of soil saturation or inundation (flooding), and depth of standing water.

 
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Alnus serrulata    Hazel Alder, Smooth alder  6-12" Athyrium filix-femina             Southern Lady Fern Betula nigra, River Birch    18-24" Euonymous americanus, Strawberry Bush 12-18"
Alnus serrulata Hazel Alder, Smooth alder 6-12"Athyrium filix-femina Southern Lady FernBetula nigra, River Birch 18-24"Euonymous americanus, Strawberry Bush 12-18"
 
Euonymous americanus, Strawberry Bush 18-24" Eupatorium hyssopifolium, Hyssop Leaf Boneset Iris Versicolor, Blue Flag Juncus tenuis, path rush, poverty rush
Euonymous americanus, Strawberry Bush 18-24"Eupatorium hyssopifolium, Hyssop Leaf BonesetIris Versicolor, Blue Flag Juncus tenuis, path rush, poverty rush
 
Magnolia virginiana 18-24" SweetBay Magnolia Magnolia virginiana 2-3' SweetBay Magnolia Platanus occidentalis, American Sycamore 2-3' Polystichum acrostichoides, Christmas Fern
Magnolia virginiana 18-24" SweetBay Magnolia Magnolia virginiana 2-3' SweetBay Magnolia Platanus occidentalis, American Sycamore 2-3'Polystichum acrostichoides, Christmas Fern
 
Pontaderia cordata, Pickerelweed Populus deltoides, Eastern Cottonwood 2-3' Symphyotrichum lateriflorum, Calico aster Symphyotrichum oblongifolium, Aromatic aster
Pontaderia cordata, PickerelweedPopulus deltoides, Eastern Cottonwood 2-3'Symphyotrichum lateriflorum, Calico aster Symphyotrichum oblongifolium, Aromatic aster
 
Woodwardia areolata, Netted Chain Fern Dryopteris marginalis                        Evergreen Wood Fern Onoclea sensibilis                                Sensitive Fern Osmunda cinnamomea                                 Cinnamon Fern
Woodwardia areolata, Netted Chain FernDryopteris marginalis Evergreen Wood FernOnoclea sensibilis Sensitive FernOsmunda cinnamomea Cinnamon Fern
 
Osmunda regalis                                       Royal Fern Pteridium aquilinum, Bracken fern Thelypteris noveboracensis   New York Fern Andropogon gerardii   Big Bluestem
Osmunda regalis Royal FernPteridium aquilinum, Bracken fernThelypteris noveboracensis New York FernAndropogon gerardii Big Bluestem
 
Calamagrostis canadensis, Canada bluejoint Carex stricta (Tussock sedge) Carex vulpinoidea  Fox sedge Carex crinata Fringed sedge
Calamagrostis canadensis, Canada bluejoint Carex stricta, Tussock sedge, Carex vulpinoidea Fox sedge Carex crinata Fringed sedge
 
Carex lurida, Sallow Sedge Chasmanthium latifolium, Northern sea oats, Indian wood oats Leersia oryzoides, Rice Cut Grass Panicum virgatum, Switchgrass
Carex lurida, Sallow Sedge Elymus riparious, Riverbank WildryeLeersia oryzoides, Rice Cut GrassPanicum virgatum, Switchgrass
 
Asclepias  incarnata, Swamp milkweed  (cut back) Chelone glabra, White turtlehead, turtlehead Helianthus angustifolia, Swamp Sunflower Lobelia cardinalis, Red cardinal flower
Asclepias incarnata, Swamp milkweed (cut back)Chelone glabra, White turtlehead, turtleheadHelianthus angustifolia, Swamp SunflowerLobelia cardinalis, Red cardinal flower
 
Lobelia siphilitica, Great blue lobelia Mimulus ringens, Allegheny Monkey Flower Monarda didyma, Bee Balm, Scarlet beebalm Saxifraga virginiensis, early saxifrage
Lobelia siphilitica, Great blue lobeliaMimulus ringens, Allegheny Monkey Flower Monarda didyma, Bee Balm, Scarlet beebalm Saxifraga virginiensis, early saxifrage
 
Symphyotrichum novae-angliae, New England Aster Kosteletzkya virginica, VA Saltmarsh Mallow Juncus effusus   Soft Rush, Common Rush Peltandra virginica, Arrow arum, Green arrow arum
Symphyotrichum novae-angliae, New England Aster Kosteletzkya virginica, VA Saltmarsh MallowJuncus effusus Soft Rush, Common Rush Peltandra virginica, Arrow arum, Green arrow arum
 
Saururus cernuus, Lizard's tail Schoenoplectus validus, Soft stem bulrush, great bulrush Scirpus atrivirens, black or green bulrush Scirpus cyperinus, Woolgrass bulrush,
Saururus cernuus, Lizard's tailSchoenoplectus validus, Soft stem bulrush, great bulrushScirpus atrivirens, black or green bulrush Scirpus cyperinus, Woolgrass bulrush,
 
Spartina pectinata, Prairie Cordgrass Alnus serrulata    Hazel Alder, Smooth alder   12-18" Cephalanthus occidentalis           Buttonbush   18" Live Stake Cephalanthus occidentalis           Buttonbush   18-24"
Spartina pectinata, Prairie Cordgrass Alnus serrulata Hazel Alder, Smooth alder 12-18"Cephalanthus occidentalis Buttonbush 18" Live StakeCephalanthus occidentalis Buttonbush 18-24"
 
Cornus amomum, Silky Dogwood   12-18" Cornus amomum, Silky Dogwood    12" Live stake Lindera benzoin, Northern Spicebush   12-18" Aronia melancarpa,  Black Chokeberry  12-18"
Cornus amomum, Silky Dogwood 12-18"Cornus amomum, Silky Dogwood 12" Live stakeLindera benzoin, Northern Spicebush 12-18"Aronia melancarpa, Black Chokeberry 12-18"
 
Aronia arbutifolia   Red Chokeberry  12-18" Sambucus nigra ssp. canadensis, Common elderberry   12-18" Sambucus nigra (canadensis), Common elderberry   12" Live stake Viburnum dentatum,   Southern Arrowwood   12-18"
Aronia arbutifolia Red Chokeberry 12-18"Sambucus nigra ssp. canadensis, Common elderberry 12-18"Sambucus nigra (canadensis), Common elderberry 12" Live stakeViburnum dentatum, Southern Arrowwood 12-18"
 
Acer negundo, Box Elder Maple 18-24" Acer rubrum, Red Maple   12-18" Acer saccharum, Sugar Maple   18-24" Carpinus caroliniana, American Hornbeam   18-24"
Acer negundo, Box Elder Maple 18-24"Acer rubrum, Red Maple 12-18"Acer saccharum, Sugar Maple 18-24"Carpinus caroliniana, American Hornbeam 18-24"
 
Celtis occidentalis, Hackberry   18-24" Liquidambar styraciflua Sweet Gum  18-24" Magnolia virginiana 12-18" SweetBay Magnolia Nyssa sylvatica, Black Gum   18-24"
Celtis occidentalis, Hackberry 18-24"Liquidambar styraciflua Sweet Gum 18-24"Magnolia virginiana 12-18" SweetBay Magnolia Nyssa sylvatica, Black Gum 18-24"
 
Platanus occidentalis, American Sycamore 18-24" Populus deltoides, Eastern Cottonwood 18-24" Quercus bicolor, Swamp White Oak   18-24" Quercus michauxii, Swamp Chestnut Oak   18-24"
Platanus occidentalis, American Sycamore 18-24" Populus deltoides, Eastern Cottonwood 18-24"Quercus bicolor, Swamp White Oak 18-24"Quercus michauxii, Swamp Chestnut Oak 18-24"
 
Quercus nigra, Water Oak  18-24" Quercus palustris, Pin Oak  18-24" Quercus phellos,  Willow Oak  18-24" Salix sericea  Silky Willow   18-24"
Quercus nigra, Water Oak 18-24"Quercus palustris, Pin Oak 18-24"Quercus phellos, Willow Oak 18-24"Salix sericea Silky Willow 18-24"
 
Salix sericea  Silky Willow  12" Live Stake Salix nigra, Black Willow    18-24" Salix nigra, Black willow    12" Live stake Taxodium distichum, Bald Cypress  18-24"
Salix sericea Silky Willow 12" Live Stake Salix nigra, Black Willow 18-24"Salix nigra, Black willow 12" Live stakeTaxodium distichum, Bald Cypress 18-24"
 
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