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Home > Products > Bog Plants

  Bog Plants
 

The following plants will grow in wet soils, shallow water or, in some cases, submerged below the surface. We have greatly expanded our aquatic plant list overy the years and have more plants tolerant of bog or pond conditions then are listed below. Please search the San Marcos Growers Database for Aquatic Plants to view a complete listing of the plants we grow for these conditions.

The plants we grow for aquatic garden use are planted in sandy loam without organic amendments, for direct placement in a water garden. Floating plants such as Ceratophyllum and Eichhornia are shipped free of soil, packed in plastic bags. We also have many other plants in our regular plant production program that can be used in ponds and water gardens but care should be used to assure that the potting medium is removed and then the plant repotted into an organic free soil.

Acourus calamus 'Variegatus' - Variegated Sweet Flag - This aroid (member of the Arecaceae family) has foliage that looks like a variegated iris. The name "sweet flag" is in reference to the aroma of the essential oil calamus, which is present in all parts of the plant. Foliage grows to 3-4 feet high with vertical cream-yellow stripes. Plant in moist soils or shallow water. Best in full sun along the coast to light shade inland.

Acorus gramineus 'Ogon' - Golden Japanese Sweet Flag
This native of eastern and central Asia is a low-growing perennial. It is an excellent foliage plant for the waterside edge and shallow ponds. The thin iris-like foliage, variegated longitudinally with bright butter yellow stripes, forms in fan-like clusters to 6-12 inches tall. The inconspicuous flower spathes are 2-8 inches long. This plant spreads by rhizomes but is not invasive. Useful massed or as an accent; use it to lighten a dark area of a pond. Plant in full sun to shade to part-shade. In a pond the water depth can be up to 2 inches or can be grown in boggy conditions or away from the water in the border, in walk ways or mixed border.

Acorus gramineus 'Pusillus' - Dwarf Sweet Flag
This small grassy sweet flag has thin (1/8 inch) dark green leaves. It is an excellent plant for using in stepping stones or mixed within a meadow as it will emit its pleasant fragrance when walked upon. Grow in moist to occasionally irrigated soils or in very shallow water.

Acorus gramineus 'Variegatus' - Variegated Sweet Flag
This native of eastern and central Asia is a low-growing perennial. It is an excellent foliage plant for the waterside edge and shallow ponds. Plants have thin, variegated (dark green with creamy-white stripes) iris-like foliage, forming in fan-like clusters to 6-12 inches tall and has inconspicuous flower spathes that are 2-8 inches long. This plant spreads by rhizomes but is not invasive. Useful massed or as an accent; use it to lighten a dark area of a pond. Plant in full sun to shade to part-shade. In a pond the water depth can be up to 2 inches or can be grown in boggy conditions or away from the water in the border, in walk ways or mixed border. (This plant no longer in production in our nursery)

Baumea rubiginosa 'Variegata' - Variegated Striped Rush
An attractive rigidly upright growing 12-18 inch tall plant from New Zealand. The 1/8 inch wide needle-like leaves (elliptical in cross section) are deep green and striped along 1 edge with yellow. This plant will grow in moist soils but seems to do best in loose soil with frequent to regular irrigation. We include this plant in this list because it was originally regarded as a variegated form of the chinese water chestnut (Eleocharis dulcis) and was commonly thought to do best in water.

Canna hybrids - Longwood Aquatic Canna Lilies
These plants are the result of hybridization work done by Robert Armstrong at Longwood Gardens and represent crosses of Canna glauca with C. x generalis hybrids. All are suitable in normal garden situations, in pots or in pond or bog plantings. In ponds plant no deeper than 8 inches underwater. All have lance shaped grey-green leaves and medium sized flowers. Royal Horticultural Colour Chart References are listed for these varieties.

'Endeavor' - To 5-6 feet. tall with bright red flowers (RHS 1-45C) - (This plant no longer in production in our nursery)
'Erebus' - To 4-5 feet. tall with salmon-pink flowers (RHS 1-39B-C)
'Ra' - To 4-5 feet. tall with bright yellow flowers (RHS 1 9A-B) - (This plant no longer in production in our nursery)
'Taney' - To 4-5 feet. tall with burnt-orange flowers ( RHS 1 33C-D)

Carex - The true sedges are a major component of the family Cyperaceae with over a thousand species. Most are natives to wet soil and are widely distributed throughout the world. The name Carex comes from the Greek kerio meaning to cut, referring to the minute saw-tooth edges on the leaves. The sedges are described in our Sedge Page.

Chondropetalum tectorum - Cape Rush - Native to the Cape of South Africa and a member of the Restionaceae family, the Cape Rush forms dense tufted clumps from which rise 3 to 4 feet long dark green unbranched stems. Dark brown sheaths form at the joints, falling off in the summer leaving a clean smooth dark band which makes the stems look similar to Horsetail (Equisetum). Late in the season the stems arch gracefully from the weight of the small brown flowers at the tips. Cape Rush looks best when grown in a well watered site. It will grow in drier locations as long as it gets sufficient water in spring to enable the plant to push its new growth, but expect a smaller more compact plant. Plant in full sun to part shade.

Colocasia esculenta 'Fontanesii' - Black Taro - This dark leaved Aroid from the South Pacific grows to 4-6 feet tall when in wet soils or shallow water. Although tender to 30-32° F it will often resprout from the base. The white flowers are not showy and rarely appear. Plant in full coastal sun to light shade.

Crinum bulbispermum - Orange River Lily - A very adaptable plant comes from river banks and water courses in South Africa. The common name is deceptive as the flower color is actually pink and the "Orange" is in reference to the Orange Free State in South Africa. This bulbous plant has 2 feet. long grey-green strap shaped leaves which arch gracefully and has bloom stalks rising to 3 feet or better bearing beautiful pale pink flowers. Grow in full sun, in or out of shallow water - will withstand severe drought conditions as well. (This plant no longer in production in our nursery)

Cyperus - This genus is a member of the huge sedge family Cyperaceae, with 600 species in and of itself. The main distinguishing characteristic which separates it from the rushes and grasses is its sharply three-angled stems rather then rounded ones. All are at home in the bog or water garden but adapt to garden situations where water is plentiful and the soil is rich.

Cyperus albostriatus - Dwarf Papyrus - We previously grew this plant as Cyperus alternifolius 'Flabelliformis' and as Cyperus diffusus - The leaf-like bracts that top 1 1/2 foot stems are nearly 1 inch wide by 4 inches long; they number 5 to 10 per stem, are arranged spirally and arch slightly giving a full dense appearance. Grow in full sun to light shade and give ample water. (This plant no longer in production in our nursery)

Cyperus alternifolius 'Gracilis' - Dwarf Umbrella Plant - A smaller version of the species growing about 2 feet tall with less tendency to flower and therefore reseed. The thin leaf-like bracts top the flowering stalk are arranged spirally, and spread outward and slightly downward like the ribs of an umbrella. Grow in or out of water, in pots, or even in an irrigated dry stream bed.
(This plant no longer in production in our nursery)
Cyperus isocladus - Dwarf Papyrus - This is the shortest papyrus we offer, growing only 1 foot high. The flowers and short needle-thin leaf-bracts top bare (leafless) stems. A delicate looking species that should be used where it won't be overpowered by larger, coarser plants. Grow in water at a depth up to 4 inches, in moist rock gardens or in pots.

Cyperus papyrus - Papyrus - This tallest and most striking of the Cyperus is native to the Mediterranean basin and where it is renown for its use as paper. Growing 6 to 10 feet tall on leafless green stems are the showy umbels composed of 50 to 100 graceful, arching and drooping hair-like rays 9 to 12 inches long. This plant is a vigorous grower in or out of water. Plant it up to 12 inches deep in water or in rich moist soil. Protect from wind. An excellent cut flower.

Cyperus papyrus 'Dwarf Form' - Dwarf Papyrus - This selection of papyrus only grows to 4 feet tall. It was selected within a group of seedling Cyperus papyrus for its shade tolerance but is most notable for its very compact growth with full size heads of graceful, arching and drooping hair-like rays 9 to 12 inches long and thick stems. This plant is a vigorous grower in or out of water. Plant it up to 12 inches deep in water or in rich moist soil. Protect from wind. An excellent cut flower. Because of its stature we had origianally named this plant after a famous Egyptian child Pharoah but this name was trademarked to market a full size Papyrus so to avoid confusion we simply call this great plant "Dwarf Form"
Cyperus papyrus 'Little Egypt' - Dwarf Papyrus - This selection of papyrus only grows to 6-7 feet tall and is usually seen around 4-5 feet. It was selected within a group of seedling Cyperus papyrus for its compact growth. As with the full size papyrus it has showy umbels composed of 50 to 100 graceful, arching and drooping hair-like rays 9 to 12 inches long. This plant is a vigorous grower in or out of water. Plant it up to 12 inches deep in water or in rich moist soil. Protect from wind. An excellent cut flower.

Cyperus sp. 'Mexico' - Gary Hammer's Mexican Papyrus - This vigorous species comes to us from Gary Hammer's nursery, Desert to Jungle. It looks much like its African cousin, Cyperus papyrus but has coarser rays that branch. An interesting addition to the water or tropical garden. (This plant no longer in production in our nursery)
Cyperus textilis - A medium sized Cyperus growing 4-5 feet. tall with stout dark green bracts topping rigid stems. Strong bold lines are attractive contrasted against lighter colors. Grow in water or in moist soil. (This plant no longer in production in our nursery)

Equisetum hyemale - Common Horsetail - A rush-like evergreen spreading perennial producing branchless, hollow and corrugated stems to 5-6 feet in height. Black bands ring the stems at the nodes. Use in ponds in water up to 4" deep, at the edge, or plant directly in the ground. Its vigorous growth habit should be considered before planting it out without measures to control it.

Equisetum scripioides - Dwarf Horsetail - A shorter version of the above, growing only 6" in height and spreading to form a fine-textured dense mat. The stems are very thin with black banding at the nodes. Plant directly in the soil as a ground cover or in a pond at a depth of 2 inches. A smaller growing selection from Ed Carman is also offered. It stays under 2 inches tall.

GRASSES: Listed below are moisture tolerant grasses.

Calamagrostis acutiflora stricta - near the waters edge
Chasmanthium latifolium - near the waters edge (This plant no longer in production in our nursery)
Imperata cylindrica 'Rubra' - moist soils and in pots near/ in the pond (This plant no longer in production in our nursery)
Miscanthus species - in shallow water or along the waters edge
Phalaris arundinacea - in shallow water or along the waters edge (This plant no longer in production in our nursery)
Setaria palmifolia - in shallow water or along the edge of a lake - gets large

HOUTTUYNIA cordata 'Chameleon' - A deciduous, herbaceous perennial growing to a height of 6 to 18 inches depending on cultural conditions, In a moist, rich and shady environment it can put on leggy growth and become invasive, but in a drier location in the sun it can form a tight ground cover with average watering. The unusual coloration of the heart-shaped leaves - splashes of yellow, pink, cream and red on a green background - makes it quite an eye catcher! Curb it in wet ground by keeping it in a pot in the ground or in a pond. Full sun on the coast, light shade inland. The pungent leaves of the species are used in cooking in the Orient.

HYDROCOTYLE umbellata - Water Pennywort - This low creeping perennial from moist sites throughout the new world will go wild in the shallow water and up through the moist bank. The attractive 1-3 inch wide leaves are round with slight dentations along the margins and the small white flowers rise above the foliage in summer. (This plant no longer in production in our nursery)

IPHEION uniflorum - Spring Star Flower - This bulb from Argentina gets its common name from the profusion of pale blue flowers borne in early spring. In its native habitat it literally covers the banks of rivers and streams and is quite a sight to see. Blue-green leaves are flattish and smell like onions when bruised. The star-shaped flowers, about 1 1/2 inches across are borne on 6-8 inch stems. Easy to grow and will naturalize readily. The darker blue form 'Wisley Blue' is also offered.

Iris 'Nada' - Orchid Iris - A beautiful selection of the species of the crested Iris group. This presumed hybrid between Iris japonica and Iris wattii has wide strap leaves to 18 inches long with very pale lavender flowers on delicate branching stems to 2 feet in height. Plant in cool, moist soil in filtered shade inland, morning sun along the coast.

Iris pseudocorus - Yellow Flag Iris - This iris is native to wet sites throughout Europe south into North Africa and east through Asia Minor. The deep green leaves reach to 3-4 feet. with the bright yellow late spring flowers standing 1-2 feet. higher. Although a wetland plant yellow flag iris is very tolerant of dry conditions.

Juncus - An important genus in riparian plant communities around the world. Plants are characterized by round leafless stems.

Juncus effusus spiralis - Corkscrew Rush - From Japan hails a most interesting member of the Rush family. The new foliage emerges as tight coils, uncoiling as it grows to become a clump and shooting out its coiled round stems in all directions. Growing about 2 feet. tall and as wide this evergreen rush is at home in moist soils or directly in water planted up to 4" deep. Performs best in full sun but will tolerate considerable shade. Slow to establish. (This plant no longer in production in our nursery)

Juncus effusus pacificus 'Quartz Creek' - Pacific Rush - This very nice selection of the California native Pacific Rush was made by Dave Fross of Native Sons Nursery. It forms a dense dark green tuft to 18 inches tall. Plant in moist to relatively dry soils in full coastal sun to moderate shade.

Juncus patens - Common Rush - One finds this wonderful species of rush in damp areas of the coastal sage scrub, and into the foothill woodlands from the south into Mexico and north to Oregon. It is one of the more versatile rushes in that it has adapted to our dry summers and wet winters. It can be used in different garden situations - from a dry garden in shade to 4" deep in a pond. Forming a dense clump and flowering in Feb-Oct. it grows to a height of 18". Our thanks to the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden for this plant.

Juncus patens 'Elk Blue' - Blue Rush - A nice fine textured blue-gray selection of the common rush that Randy Baldwin found in the hills south east-of the town of Elk (south of Mendocino). Treat this plant the same as you would the common rush.

Juncus polyanthemus - Silver Rush - A 3 feet tall clump forming rush from Australia with silver-green leaves that arch gracefully away from the center of the plant. Plant in shallow water, along the water's edge or up on the dry land in full sun to part shade. Water occasionally for this plant to look its best and gain its full stature. (This plant no longer in production in our nursery)

Juncus sp. 'Carmen's Japan' - Carmen's Japanese Rush - This evergreen clump-forming rush grows 18-24 inches tall, with thin narrow stems of a fine texture and an overall graceful form. Flowers are attractive and useful in small arrangements. Plant this evergreen in moist soil or in a pond to a depth of 4". An Ed Carmen introduction that he obtained in Japan.

LOMANDRA These sturdy Australian grasslike plants tolerates about any condition that can be imagined from wet to dry conditions in full sun to heavy shade. Interesting, extremely fragrant small flowers in spiny clusters are hidden in the foliage. The many cultivars are described on our Lomandra Page

Marsilea vestita - Water Clover - This aquatic fern comes from wet sites throughout California where is spreads by rhizomes through the mud. The decorative clover-like leaves float on the water surface. Plant in the shallow water along the edge of the pond or use in pots partly submerged. We also grow Marsilea schelpeana, Marsilea mutica and Marsilea drummondi

Pontederia cordata - Azure Pickerel - An aquatic perennial from the east coast of North America that forms large clumps with lance-shaped leaves on upright stems to 4 feet tall. In summer the clusters of tiny blue flowers are held up above the foliage. This plant should be grown submerged or in damp boggy soil in full sun.

Salvia uliginosa - Swamp Salvia - This tall, upright perennial that grows 4-6 feet tall and produces intense azure-blue flowers on long inflorescences above the foliage in late summer to fall. Plant in full sun on the edge of a pond, in moist soil or in the dry garden. Native to Brazil, Uruguay and Argentina.

Schoenoplectus lacustris tabernaemontani 'Zebrinus' - Banded Bulrush - This distinctive rush can reach to 5 feet tall with thin hollow leaves that have horizontal bands throughout their length. The bands are most prominent on new growth in spring and fades in the late summer prior to the leaves turning brown in the late fall. Plant in full sun in water 2-6 inches deep where the sun can backlight the banded leaves.

Scirpus cernuus - Low Bulrush - A very attractive grass-like rush relative growing to 8 inches tall with bright green evergreen foliage. Plant in part shade to full sun along the coast, directly in water at a depth of 2 in. or at the water's edge. Useful singularly, in mass or as a ground cover. Attractive dark brown small flowers appear at the end of each stem and contrast well with the foliage. Cut back yearly for fresh new growth.

Wachendorfia thyrsiflora - Rooiknol - From South Africa, we have Rookinol meaning red root in Afrikaans, a tall clump-forming perennial with upright pleated leaves of bright green. Growing to 3 feet tall with an additional 1 to 2 feet inflorescence crowded with rich yellow flowers. Plant in a sunny location in moist soil. (This plant no longer in production in our nursery)

Zanthedeschia aethiopica - Calla Lily - The Calla lily is a mainstay of the perennial garden but it actually comes from marshy wet areas in South Africa. It does well along the waters edge, in full sun where, it will remain evergreen and bloom much of the year.