Wetlands: Plants

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These are not the plants recommended for bioretention cells, rain gardens etc.
BioretentionA shallow excavated surface depression containing prepared filter media, mulch, and planted with selected vegetation. cells, bioswales and similar structures normally have dry to moderate 'soil' conditions.
If you're looking for bioretentionA shallow excavated surface depression containing prepared filter media, mulch, and planted with selected vegetation. plants, you may choose from all of these grasses, perennials, shrubs, and trees.


The most common types of emergent vegetation used in North American wetlands are:

  • cattails (Typha spp.),
  • bulrushes (Scirpus spp.), and
  • reeds (Phragmites spp.),
although a variety of other wetlandA vegetated area such as a bog, fen, marsh, or swamp, where the soil or root zone is saturated for part of the year. vegetation can be used as well. In many cases, planting a monoculture may be recommended rather than attempting to support biodiverse vegetation, since the more “aggressive”, stress-resistant wetlandA vegetated area such as a bog, fen, marsh, or swamp, where the soil or root zone is saturated for part of the year. plants (e.g., cattails) will quickly displace others if they are present. In surface flow wetlands, cattails and bulrushes are the most common types of emergent vegetation used. The most common type of plant used in sub-surface flow wetlands is reeds, but cattails, bulrushes, reed canary grass (Pharis arundinacea) and managrass (Glyceria maxima) have also been used.[1]

ALL of the plants listed above have issues associated with invasive species and/or hybridization between native and invasive species in Ontario.
If you are uncertain in making the correct selection, see the external links below for Provincial advice and specialist organisations that can help.

Sortable table, click on header you wish to select wetlandA vegetated area such as a bog, fen, marsh, or swamp, where the soil or root zone is saturated for part of the year. plants by:
Scientific Name Common Name Native Partial shade tolerance Drought Tolerance
1=Low
2=Med
3=High
Salt Tolerance
1=Low
2=Med
3=High
Pollution tolerance Compaction tolerance STEP star! Illustration
Schoenoplectus tabernaemontani (Scirpus validus) Soft-stem Bulrush Y 1 2-3 Y Kare kaisel.JPG
Scirpus atrovirens Dark-green Bulrush Y 1 2 Y Scirpus atrovirens.jpeg
Scirpus cyperinus Cottongrass Bulrush Y 2 2 Scirpus cyperinus jheiser.jpg
Typha latifolia Broad-leaf Cattail Y 1 2-3 Y Typha latifolia 02 bgiu.jpg

Links

External links


  1. Jacques Whitford Consultants, 2008. CONSTRUCTED & ENGINEERED WETLANDS p. 1-21