Emergent Plants

Emergent plants grow on the shoreline and can withstand fluctuations in water level.

Find plants here that are suited for rain gardens. 

 
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Asclepias incarnata

swamp milkweed

 

Flower Color: pink-purple

Bloom Time: Jun-Oct

Plant Height: 2’-4.5’

Water Depth: wet soil-6”

Light: full sun/part shade

Benefits: attracts butterflies, host plant for Danaus plexippus and Danaus gilippus caterpillars

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Canna flaccida

bandanna of the Everglades

 

Flower Color: yellow 

Bloom Time: May-Aug

Plant Height: 4’

Water Depth: wet soil-6”

Light: full sun

Benefits: erosion control, showy flower

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Cephalanthus occidentalis

common buttonbush 

 

Plant Height: generally 3'-5', can

grow up to 20'

Flower Color: white

Bloom Time: Jun - Sep

Water Depth: wet soil-12"

Light: full sun/part shade

Benefits: erosion control

Chasmanthium latifolium

inland sea oats

 

Flower Color: green

Bloom Time: Jun-Oct

Plant Height: 2’-4’

Water Depth: wet soil-6”

Light: part shade/shade

Benefits: erosion control, seeds are food for wildlife

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Crinum americanum

seven sisters

 

Flower Color: white, blush

Bloom Time: Jun-Nov

Plant Height: 2’-3’

Water Depth: wet soil-6”

Light: full sun/part shade

Benefits: showy and fragrant flower

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Equisetum hyemale

scouringrush horsetail

 

Plant Height: 3’

Water Depth: wet soil-6”

Light: full sun/part shade

Benefits: ornamental evergreen

Helianthus angustifolius

swamp sunflower

 

Flower Color: yellow
Bloom Time: Aug - Oct
Plant Height: 2' - 4'
Water Depth: moist soil-6"
Light: full sun, part shade
Benefits: showy flowers, attracts birds

Hibiscus lasiocarpos

rosemallow

 

Flower Color: white with magenta eye

Bloom Time: Apr-Sep

Plant Height: 3’-5’

Water Depth: wet soil- 6”

Light: full sun

Benefits: attracts butterflies, deer and quail eat seeds

Hibiscus moscheutos

crimsoneyed rosemallow

 

Flower Color: white

Bloom Time: Jul - Sep

Plant Height: 3’-7’

Water Depth: moist soil- 6”

Light: full sun, part shade

Benefits: attracts hummingbirds

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Hydrolea ovata

blue waterleaf

 

Flower Color: blue 

Bloom Time: Jun - Sep

Plant Height: 1'-2'

Water Depth: moist soil - 6"

Light: full sun, part shade

Benefits: showy flowers, erosion control

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Hymenocallis occidentalis

Northern spiderlily

 

Flower Color: white
Bloom Time: Mar-Sep
Plant Height: 1.5’-2.5’ 
Water Depth: wet soil-6”
Light: full sun/part shade
Benefits: showy and fragrant flower

Iris fulva

copper iris

 

Plant Height: 3’-4’

Flower Color: red/orange

Bloom Time: Mar - May

Water Depth: wet soil-6”

Light: full sun/part shade

Benefits: ornamental

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Iris virginica

Virginia iris

 

Plant Height: 3’-4’

Flower Color: blue/purple

Bloom Time: May-Jun

Water Depth: wet soil-6”

Light: full sun/part shade

Benefits: ornamental

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Juncus effusus

common rush

 

Plant Height: 4’-5’

Water Depth: wet soil-6”

Light: full sun

Benefits: seeds are wildlife food source

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Justicia americana

American water-willow

 

Flower Color: white and purple

Bloom Time: Apr - Oct

Plant Height: 2’-3’

Water Depth: wet soil-36”

Light: full sun/part shade

Benefits: underwater structure and habitat

Kosteletzkya virginica

Virginia saltmarsh mallow

 

Flower Color: pink
Bloom Time: Jun - Oct
Plant Height:  3'-5'
Water Depth: moist soil-6"
Light: full sun
Benefits: buffer plant between agricultural and aquatic systems, attracts butterflies and hummingbirds, seeds are a valuable food source for small mammals and migratory birds, showy flowers

Lobelia cardinalis

cardinal flower

 

Flower Color: red

Bloom Time: May-Oct

Plant Height: 3’-5’

Water Depth: wet soil- 6”

Light: full sun/part shade

Benefits: attracts butterflies and hummingbirds

Panicum hemitomon

maidencane

 

Flower Color: yellow 

Plant Height: 2.5'

Water Depth: moist soil - 24"

Light: full sun, part shade

Benefits: erosion control, livestock forage

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Peltandra virginica

arrow arum

 

Flower Color: green 

Bloom Time: Jun-Oct

Plant Height: 2’-4’

Water Depth: wet soil-6”

Light: full sun/part shade

Benefits: fruit preferred food of wood ducks, cover for water fowl and wading birds

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Physostegia virginiana

obedient plant

 

Flower Color: pink, lavender

Bloom Time: Aug-Nov

Plant Height: 3’-4’

Water Depth: wet soil-6”

Light: Full sun/part shade

Benefits: attracts hummingbirds and butterflies, good cut flower

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Pontederia cordata

pickerelweed

 

Plant Height: 2'-3'

Flower Color: purple

Bloom Time: Jun - Sep

Water Depth: wet soil-36" 

Light: full sun/part shade

Benefits: ornamental, filter plant

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Phyla nodiflora

turkey tangle frogfruit

 

Flower Color: white/blush 

Bloom Time: May - Oct 

Plant Height: 3" - 12"

Water Depth: dry soil - 6"

Light: full sun, part shade

Benefits: erosion control, nectar source, larval host plant for Phyciodes phaonJunonia coenia and Anartia jatrophae

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Sagittaria lancifolia

bulltongue arrowhead

 

Flower Color: white and yellow

Bloom Time: Jun - Aug

Plant Height: 1’-3’

Water Depth: wet soil-12”

Light: full sun

Benefits: tubers provides food for ducks

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Sagittaria latifolia

broadleaf arrowhead

 

Flower Color: white and yellow

Bloom Time: June - Sept

Plant Height: 3’-5’

Water Depth: wet soil-24”

Light: full sun/part shade

Benefits: tubers provides food for ducks

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Sagittaria platyphylla

delta arrowhead

 

Flower Color: white and yellow

Bloom Time: Jun - Aug

Plant Height: 1’-3’

Water Depth: wet soil-12”

Light: full sun

Benefits: tubers provides food for ducks

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Saururus cernuus

lizard's tail

 

Flower Color: white

Bloom Time: May - Aug

Plant Height: 2’-4’

Water Depth: wet soil-6”

Light: full sun/part shade

Benefits: ornamental

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Scirpus tabernaemontani

softstem bulrush

 

Plant Height: 4’-6’

Water Depth: wet soil-36”

Light: full sun

Benefits: buffer against wind and wave action

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Sparganium americanum

American bur-reed

 

Flower Color: white/green

Bloom Time: May - Aug

Plant Height: 2’-3’

Water Depth: wet soil-12”

Light: full sun/part shade

Benefits: underwater structure and habitat

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Thalia dealbata

powdery alligator-flag

 

Flower Color: purple

Bloom Time: May-Oct

Plant Height: 3’-6’

Water Depth: wet soil-2’

Light: full sun/part shade

Benefits: ducks will eat seeds, showy flower

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Tripsicum dactyloides

Eastern gamagrass

 

Flower Color: yellow

Bloom Time: Apr-Jun

Plant Height: 4’-6’

Water Depth:  wet soil

Light: full sun/part shade

Benefits: ground cover, host plant for Problema byssus caterpillars