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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Athyrium filix-femina             Southern Lady Fern Betula nigra, River Birch    18-24" Chasmanthium latifolium, Northern sea oats, Indian wood oats
Athyrium filix-femina Southern Lady FernBetula nigra, River Birch 18-24"Black Willow 38 cell deep plug Elymus virginicus, Virginia Wild Rye
 
Euonymous americanus, Strawberry Bush 12-18" Eupatorium purpureum, Sweet Joe Pye Weed Eurybia macrophylla, Big Leaved Aster Heliopsis helianthoides, Smooth OxeEye Sunflower
Euonymous americanus, Strawberry Bush 12-18"Eupatorium purpureum, Sweet Joe Pye WeedEurybia macrophylla, Big Leaved Aster Heliopsis helianthoides, Smooth OxeEye Sunflower
 
Hibiscus moscheutos, Swamp Hibiscus, Rose Mallow Iris Versicolor, Blue Flag Magnolia virginiana 18-24" SweetBay Magnolia Platanus occidentalis, American Sycamore 2-3'
Hibiscus moscheutos, Swamp Hibiscus, Rose MallowIris Versicolor, Blue Flag Magnolia virginiana 18-24" SweetBay Magnolia Platanus occidentalis, American Sycamore 2-3'
 
Polystichum acrostichoides, Christmas Fern Populus deltoides, Eastern Cottonwood 2-3' Salix nigra, Black Willow    38 cell deep plug Symphyotrichum oblongifolium, Aromatic aster
Polystichum acrostichoides, Christmas FernPopulus deltoides, Eastern Cottonwood 2-3'Salix nigra, Black Willow 38 cell deep plugSymphyotrichum 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
 
Carex stricta (Tussock sedge) Carex vulpinoidea  Fox sedge Carex crinata Fringed sedge Chasmanthium latifolium, Northern sea oats, Indian wood oats
Carex stricta, Tussock sedge, Carex vulpinoidea Fox sedge Carex crinata Fringed sedge Elymus riparious, Riverbank Wildrye
 
Panicum virgatum, Switchgrass Eupatorium perfoliatum, Common boneset Helianthus angustifolia, Swamp Sunflower Lobelia cardinalis, Red cardinal flower
Panicum virgatum, Switchgrass Eupatorium perfoliatum, Common bonesetHelianthus angustifolia, Swamp SunflowerLobelia cardinalis, Red cardinal flower
 
Rudbeckia laciniata, Cutleaf coneflower Saxifraga virginiensis, early saxifrage Symphyotrichum novae-angliae, New England Aster Kosteletzkya virginica, VA Saltmarsh Mallow
Rudbeckia laciniata, Cutleaf coneflower Saxifraga virginiensis, early saxifrageSymphyotrichum novae-angliae, New England Aster Kosteletzkya virginica, VA Saltmarsh Mallow
 
Juncus effusus   Soft Rush, Common Rush Peltandra virginica, Arrow arum, Green arrow arum Sagittaria latifolia, Arrowhead, duck potato Saururus cernuus, Lizard's tail
Juncus effusus Soft Rush, Common Rush Peltandra virginica, Arrow arum, Green arrow arumSagittaria latifolia, Arrowhead, duck potatoSaururus cernuus, Lizard's tail
 
Scirpus cyperinus, Woolgrass bulrush, Cephalanthus occidentalis           Buttonbush   18" Live Stake Cephalanthus occidentalis           Buttonbush   18-24" Cornus amomum, Silky Dogwood   12-18"
Scirpus cyperinus, Woolgrass bulrush, 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 arbutifolia   Red Chokeberry  12-18" Sambucus nigra ssp. canadensis, Common elderberry   12-18"
Cornus amomum, Silky Dogwood 12" Live stakeLindera benzoin, Northern Spicebush 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" Acer negundo, Box Elder Maple 18-24" Acer rubrum, Red Maple   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" Celtis occidentalis, Hackberry   18-24" Liquidambar styraciflua Sweet Gum  18-24"
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" Platanus occidentalis, American Sycamore 18-24" Populus deltoides, Eastern Cottonwood 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 nigra, Water Oak  18-24" Quercus palustris, Pin Oak  18-24" Quercus phellos,  Willow Oak  18-24"
Quercus bicolor, Swamp White 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  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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