Deep South And Southeast Plants Ideal for Your Rain Garden




Adiantum capillus-veneris is an unusual fern, with Gingko-like leave, rather than fronds. Its common name is Southern Maidenhair Fern. Maidenhair is considered one of the southeast plants, but can be found as far west as Missouri's Ozarks and even up into the Dakotas. Adiantum capillus-veneris prefers rocky habitats or limestone soils in the bluffs of rivers or in the spray of waterfalls so a few rocks in your rain garden will help to support this beautiful plant. Maidenhair was once used medicinally as an expactorant among other things.


Bignonia capreolata is a lovely rambling vine known commonly as Crossvine. Crossvine produce wonderful, trumpet-like flowers ideal for hummingbirds. This vine can easily be training to a trellis and grows very fast. Crossvine is tolerant of various shade and water conditions.


Onoclea sensibilis is more commonly called Sensitive Fern because of its tendancy to whither at the first sign of frost, but it does come back healthier the following year if dead fronds are left over the winter. This is another one of those ferns placed in the Southeast plants area, but in fact is found all the way to the Rockies. In the wild this fern would inhabit wet meadows or swamps. Onoclea sensibilis is a smaller fern, growing only to about 2 feet.


Chasmanthus latifolium is better known as Inland Sea Oats, Indian Wood Oats, Broadleaf Uniola or Spangle Grass. This Southeast plant has a second scientific name: Uniola latifolium. Sea oats enjoy sun or shade and is a beautiful, showy grass as these pictures demonstrate. River oats flower late in the season, into October and its seed head would provide a perfect food source for native species.


Muhlenbergia capillaris is a beautiful, ornamental grass with waving pink fronds, better known as Gulf Muhly Grass or Regal Mist. Muhly Grass' misty pink fronds erupt in the fall at nearly three feet tall. Regal Mist enjoys full sun, but will tolerate some light shade. This southeast wildflower can persist all the way into Kansas.


Passiflora incarnata is a wonderful vine familiar to many of you as Passionflower. Passionflower's wonderful lilac flowers are fuzzy in nature and the vine can lift itself to heights of eight to twelve feet. This particular species of passionflower is cold hardy unlike its tropical cousins. It is also used medicinally as an anti-spasmodic and for cough relief.


Tripsacum dactyloides is another prairie grass known as Eastern Gamagrass. Eastern Gamagrass has tiny unique flower that bloom in late spring to early summer and grow up to five feet tall. Gamagrass erupts from the ground in a fountain-like form with thick green foliage. This beautiful grass comes highly recommended for wet, drainage areas and even better is that it is nearly pest-free.