Sunday, March 18, 2018
You are here:  About Our PlantsWetland grasses and native, non-grass species
Wetland grasses and native, non-grass species for shoreline stabilization, erosion control, and mitigations
Blue Wood Sedge Carex glaucodea Lluxuriant, pleated, wide blades with a blue tint to them. Must grow in shade and moist, well- drained soil; bunch form. Makes wheatlike heads to 15 inches in spring, fills faster than liriope, cool-season, hardy to Zone 6.  Photo available soon.

Canada Wildrye Elymus canadensis var. canadensis A cool-season bunchgrass, with delicate, wheatlike heads produced to 3.5 feet in early summer. Ages to tan, stays upright for months thereafter. Two forms: "Upright" is stiffly upright and tolerates deep shade to full sun. Hardy to Zone 4, shady to sunny shorelines, occasional temporary flooding. Can be prolific from seeds. Canada Wildrye (Elymus Canadensis var.canadensis) Canada Wildrye ( Elymus canadensis var. canadensis) weeping

Inland Seaoats Chasmanthium latifolium A warm-season bunchgrass from 1" rhizomes with lax, tropical foliage topped by hanging bangles. Must grow in shade or becomes burned, bleached. To 3 feet tall, hardy to zone 4, becomes sandy in winter. Shady shorelines, never feet wet, occasional flooding OK. Prolific from seeds. Inland Seaoats (Chasmanthium latifolium)

Broomsedge Bluestem Andropogon virginicus Excellent orange winter color. Tight bunch, green in summer, full sun, to 4 feet tall; moist, well-drained soil. Never feet wet. Warm-season, hardy to Zone 5, mow in winter. Can be prolific from seeds. Broomsedge Bluestem (Andropogon virginicus)

Bushy Bluestem Andropogon glomeratus Stout, cinnamon stems to 5 feet for striking winter color. Green in summer, warm-season bunchgrass, likes moist, well-drained soils near water, occasional or regular feet wet. Full sun, hardy to Zone 5, mow in winter. Very prolific from seeds along shorelines. Bushy Bluestem (Andropogon glomeratus)

Clubhead Cutgrass Leersia hexandra A warm-season, rhizomatous grass with a sprawling nature. It favors full sun and shallow water to shoreline habitats, forming a thick, dense mat of foliage and rhizomes. This is excellent wetland, shoreline, erosion control without the height or rank nature of larger wetland grasses. Height to 2 feet, spreads rapidly also by seeds, irrigation important in landscapes, but tolerant of dry-downs on shorelines. Seeds are an important food source for wetland granivores. Important for wetland mitigation projects. Clubhead Cutgrass (Leersia hexandra) Clubhead Cutgrass (Leersia hexandra), shoreline swath

Common Reed Phragmites australis A warm-season, aggressively rhizomatous wetland grass which invades drier surrounding areas readily, and moves into 1.5 feet of water. 'Shoreline' cv. is especially aggressive, even growing into shade and uphill. Stems are soft, easily cut, unlike Arundo donax. Excellent control on lakeshores against wave erosion, shelter for spawn and other wildlife. Purple tassels become white flags in winter. Worldwide distribution. Does not block waterways. Height to 12 feet, graceful in wind. Full to part sun. Common Read (Phragmites australis) in summer Common Read (Phragmites australis) in winter

Eastern Gamagrass Trypsacum dactyloides A warm-season bunchgrass with short rhizomes resembling caterpillars. Deep, thick roots suited to heavy, moist clays. Excellent foliage production plus roots gives control against washout in waterways. Dwarf form gets to 5 feet, usually smaller. Full form gets to 7 feet. Hardy to Zone 5, foliage resembles a fountain, "winter cinnamon" form is cinnamon on foliage in winter. Full to part-sun,shoreline stabilization, occasional flooding tolerated. Can be prolific from seeds. Eastern Gamagrass (Trypsacum dactyloides)   Eastern Gamagrass (Trypsacum dactyloides) in winter  Eastern Gamagrass (Trypsacum dactyloides) pistils

Lindheimer Muhly Muhlenbergia lindheimeri A warm-season bunchgrass of effusive, arching, blue-green foliage to 3 feet tall, topped by a halo of feathery heads in fall to 6 feet. Enjoys moist, heavy clay soils and full sun to light shade. Naturally occurring in Hill Country floodplains, occasional flooding OK. Hardy to zone 7. Lindheimer Muhly (Muhlenbergia lindheimeri) Lindheimer Muhly (Muhlenbergia lindheimeri)

Longspike Silver Bluestem Bothriochloa saccharoides var. longipaniculata A warm-season bunchgrass with semi-prostrate culm bases becoming ascending. Produces many fluffy, white heads from May-frost. Prolific from seeds. Likes full sun and well-drained, moist soils, tolerates occasional temporary flooding. Hardy to zone 7. Height to 4 feet. Longspike Silver Bluestem (Bothriochloa saccharoides var. longipaniculata)

Longspike Tridens Tridens strictus A warm-season bunchgrass producing elongated, golden heads in late summer, this grass needs occasional irrigation and full sun. It reaches 3.5 feet in height and is hardy to zone 7. It turns golden from the top down in the fall, remaining a strong, vertical presence in the landscape through winter. Longspike Tridens (Tridens strictus)

Lowland Switchgrass Panicum virgatum A warm-season bunchgrass with short rhizomes, forming a tall (to 8 feet), cascading bunch with hanging, luxuriant foliage topped by large, delicate, open panicles. Hardy to zone 4, needs full sun and moist to wet soil near water. Excellent control against washout. Foliage color ranges from silver-blue to intense green in summer, sandy to intensely cinnamon in winter. Head color varies from that of foliage to purple and even red. Character of the plant endures during winter after foliage fades. Lowland Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) Lowland Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) Lowland Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum)

Prairie Cordgrass Spartina pectinata A warm-season, aggressively rhizomatous, freshwater species with some salt-tolerance. New rhizomes have dagger points, making a colony difficult for beavers to burrow into, protection for dams and other streamside areas. Extensive colonies offer excellent washout protection, growing streamside into 1 foot of water and tolerating both extensive temporary flooding and occasional droughts. Foliage ascending-arching, to 5 feet,topped by heads resembling compact combs. Leaf edges serrated, but tough leaves useful for weaving. Heavy, moist to wet soils. Hardy to zone 5. Prairie Cordgrass (Spartina pectinata) Prairies Cordgrass (Spartina pectinata) in fallPrairie Cordgrass (Spartina pectinata) in fall 

Coastal Cordgrass Spartina spartinae A warm-season bunchgrass with rolled, sharp-pointed leaves to 3 feet tall topped by dense spikes. Excellent salt tolerance. Full sun to part shade, moist to wet soils. Tolerates regular flooding. Foliage may purple during winter. Hardy to zone 7+. Coastal Cordgrass (Spartina spartinae)

Silver Plumegrass Saccharum alopecuroideum A warm-season bunchgrass notable for extreme height (to 12 feet or more) in wet soils, topped in fall by silver-purple heads. Excellent winter color, a bronze column. Wet to shoreline soils. Full sun, hardy to zone 7. Silver Plumegrass (Saccharum alopecuroideum) in winter Silver Plumegrass (Saccharum alopecuroideum)

Elderberry Sambucus canadensis A native wetland shrub, aggressive from rhizomes, notable for large umbels of tiny white flowers followed by deep purple, sweet, edible berries. Foliage pinnately compound, deciduous, no fall color. Height to 15 feet, usually shorter. Moist to wet sites, shorelines, sun to partial shade. Hardy to Zone 6. Elderberry (Sambucus canadensis) Elderberry (Sambucus canadensis)

Giant Coneflower Rudbeckia maxima A native broadleaf forming dense mounds of blue-tinted, cabbage-like foliage during the winter, followed by tall (5-7 feet) stems topped by showy heads. Needs moist soils, tolerates brief flooding, full sun, hardy to Zone 6. Giant Coneflower (Rudbeckia maxima) Giant Coneflower (Rudbeckia maxima)

Horsetail Equisetum hymale A native, herbacious conifer, aggressive from rhizomes, to 5 feet tall, stems jointed, heavily silicated. Cones formed on older stems. Well-drained soils near but not in water, tolerates occasional flooding, sun to partial shade. Hardy to Zone 5. Horsetail (Equisetum hymale)

Lizard-tail Saururus cernuus A native broadleaf for shallow water to shorelines, Arum family. Full sun to light shade, heavy, wet soils, very aggressive from rhizomes, to 3 feet tall. Hardy to Zone 6. Lizard-Tail (Saururus cernuus)

Military Hibiscus Hibiscus militaris A native broadleaf depending on moist to flooded conditions, invades by seeds to depths of 2 feet. Height to 6 feet, flowers very showy, full sun, hardy to Zone 6. Military Hibiscus (Hibiscus militaris)

Sawtooth Sunflower Helianthus grosse-serratus A native broadleaf of moist to flooded conditions, to depth of 1.5 feet, aggressively rhizomatous and will seed. Full sun, hardy to Zone 6. Height spectacular, 12-20 feet, with broad spray of flowers. Sawtooth Sunflower (Helianthus grosse-serratus)

Spring-Flowering Obedient Plant Physostegia intermedia A native mint, aggressive from rhizomes, flowers in the spring. Forms dense colonies, dormant in midsummer while the grasses grow. Height to 3 feet, moist soils near water, tolerates temporary flooding. Full sun, hardy to Zone 6. Spring-Flowering Obedient Plant (Physostegia intermedia)