MD: Calvert County: Native Plants for Rain Gardens
LOCALLY NATIVE PLANTSRECOMMENDED FOR USE INRAIN GARDENS IN CALVERTCOUNTYHerbaceous PerennialsArisaema triphyllum – Jack-in-the-Pulpit. Grows to 3’ tall in moist to wet soil in fullshade. Berries form after the appearance of “jack” in early spring and turn a beautiful,true red in late summer. Colonizes by seeds and runners. Plant with ferns to cover theyellowing foliage in fall. HWVChelone glabra – White Turtlehead. Grows wild in wet areas in sun to shade butprefers some sun. Can reach 5’ tall. White flowers, which resemble the shape of aturtle’s head, top heavy stalks with green leaves in late summer. Forms large clumps andis excellent paired with Blue or Cardinal Lobelia. (Shorter non-native Chelone are C.lyonii and C. obliqua which have pink to rose-colored blooms.) All are host plants forthe Baltimore Checkerspot butterflies. Rain Garden. HWV (Will form a clump at least2’-3’ wide)Dicentra eximia – Wild Bleeding Heart. Heart-shaped pinkish red or white bloomsappear in April and occasionally throughout the summer. Likes rich soil, dry to moistand requires Part Shade to Full Shade. Lovely deeply cut foliage.Echinacea purpurea – Coneflower. Ht. to 4’ in full sun to light shade and average soil,the pinkish petals surround a large brown cone filled with seeds which attractGoldfinches and other small birds. Good for naturalizing but deer love it! Veryattractive to butterflies.Eupatorium fistulosum- Joe Pye Weed, Eupatorium maculatum – Spotted Joe PyeWeed, Eupatorium purpureum- Sweet Joe Pye Weed. For height in Part Shade to FullSun, Joe Pye Weed is a stunning plant that ranges from 6’ to 10’ with adequate moisture.Huge pinkish blooms on top of thick stalks are magnets for butterflies in July throughAugust. Does best with more sun than shade. Rain Garden. HWV (Will form a clumpat least 3’ wide)Eupatorium dubium – Three-Nerved Joe Pye Weed. The shortest member of thefamily also sports pinkish to purplish blooms on stalks that grow no taller than 5’ insimilar conditions. Rain Garden. HWV
Geranium maculatum – Wild Geranium. Blooms in late spring with pink-lavenderblooms above attractive mounding foliage. Can serve as a groundcover. Sun to PartShade in Average to Moist soil.Helenium autumnale – Sneezeweed. Yellow blooms appear from late July to the end ofSeptember atop 2’-4’ stems. Will tolerate full Sun to Shade and prefers moist soil.Grows wild in woods, swamps and along riverbanks. Will tolerate wet areas but notheavy clay soil. Attracts butterflies.Helianthus angustifolius – Swamp Sunflower. Like annual sunflowers, this plant canreach over 5’ in height in full sun. It requires moist to wet acidic soil. Rain GardenHibiscus moscheutos – Marsh Mallow. Height is 3’-6’. The large white/pinkishblooms with deep red-violet centers attract attention in marshes and along the edges ofboth fresh and saltwater creeks in Calvert County. They will also tolerate average tomoist soil in the garden. Rain Garden. (Allow 2’-3’ width)Lobelia cardinalis – Cardinal Flower. A very popular native plant that attractsbutterflies and hummingbirds, Cardinal Flower blooms in mid to late summer atop 2’-4’sturdy stalks. It grows wild in moist to wet areas in Calvert County but will grow inaverage to moist soil in Sun to Shade, although it blooms earlier with a bit of sun. RainGarden. HWVLobelia siphilitica – Great Blue Lobelia. Similar requirements as the Cardinal Flowerbut will grow even taller and tolerates more Shade. It blooms a bit later and will alsoattract hummingbirds and butterflies. Rain Garden. HWVPackera aurea (Senecio aureus) – Golden Groundsel. Sun to Shade. A wetland plantthat will also grow in average soil, it spreads by runners and can be aggressive in thegarden. It makes a good groundcover and bears deep yellow flowers in early to midsummer on 1’-2’ stalks.Rudbeckia fulgida – Orange Coneflower and Rudbeckia hirta – Black-eyed Susan.Both grow in Sun to Part Shade to heights up to 3.5’ in dry to moist soil, although neitherlikes to be too dry. Blooms appear in June or July and continue into fall. Pretty pairedwith Cardinal lobelia. Rain Garden. HWVRudbeckia hirta - Black-eyed Susan. Height 1.5-4’. Sun/PtShade. Dry to moist soilYellow blooms in late summer attract butterflies, pollinators, and birds eat seeds. Host
plant to dozens of species of Lepidoptera, including Pearl Crescent and SilverCheckerspot butterflies.Symphyotrichum novae-angliae – New England Aster. Height 1-6’ Sun/PtShade.Moist soil. Violet blooms in late summer provide nectar for butterfliesThalictrum pubescens (T. polygamun) – Tall Meadow Rue. Likes Moist to Wet soil inSun to Shade. This tall (to 8’ under ideal conditions) plant has lovely, columbine-likeleaves and white flowers that appear in early June. Rain Garden.Vernonia noveboracensis – New York Ironweed. A tall native that grows in Sun to PartShade, Ironweed likes moist to wet soil where it can reach 8’ tall, but will grow inaverage soil where it will reach 4’-5’ in height. Red violet flowers appear in latesummer and attract butterflies. Rain Garden. HWVThis usually prefers quite a bit of sun, but there may be enough, particularly if it is near abuilding and sun and heat reflect on the bed.Amsonia spp. Amsonia are commonly called Bluestar and are native to the Midwest orSoutheast. They grow in average soil and prefer abundant moisture; however they aredrought tolerant. In the spring, pale blue flowers are held upright in clusters and lastwell as cut flowers, but be careful cutting them--the stems exude a milky sap that may beirritating to the skin. Have never been bothered by deer. The yellow blooms ofCoreopsis verticillata and C. auriculata provide a pleasing color contrast. Rain Garden Amsonia ciliata – Fringed Bluestar. Ht. 2-3’, narrow green leaves are ½” wideby 2” long. In fall, they turn tan and leaves crinkle, providing fall and winter interest. A.hubrictii – Hubricht’s or Arkansas Bluestar. Flowers are not as showy as the otherBluestars, but this smaller plant is glorious in the fall when its fine foliage turn brightgold. Plant several together for a stunning effect. A. illustris – Ozark Bluestar. Thisplant reaches 4’ tall and almost that wide and can form a summertime hedge. Its narrowgreen leaves on stiff stalks support large heads of small blue flowers in the spring,followed by thin beanlike seed pods. Because of their weight, the stalks should bepruned back by one-third to one-half after blooming; however, leave a few with beans tomature and self sow. A. tabernaemontana – Bluestar. Very similar to Ozark Bluestarwith wider leaves and even heavier stalks. Iris versicolor – Large Blue Flag. Height 1-3’. Sun/PtShade. Moist to wet soil, withstands inundation. Late spring bloom is lavender blue. Seeds provide food for birds, small mammals.