The Q&A Archives: wet soil

Question: This area has an underground stream and the top is dry but about a foot down it is very wet. I have a weeping willow and a water lily there, but I want more color. It is sunny in the morning and shady during the afternoon. What can I plant there?

Answer: Most plants do not like constantly wet soils because the oxygen level is low. However, the following plants thrive in such spots:
Acorus calamus (sweet flag)
Astilbe spp. (astilbe)
Butomus umbellatus (flowering rush)
Calla palustris (bog arum)
Caltha palustris (marsh marigold)
Canna x generalis (Water canna)
Carex spp. (sedge)
Eleocharis acicularis (spike rush)
Eupatorium dubium (Joe Pye weed)
Equisetum hyemale (horsetail)
Hibiscus moscheutos (rose mallow)
Iris ensata (Japanese water iris)
Iris laevigata (water iris)
Iris pseudacorus (yellow flag)*
Iris siberica (Siberian iris)
Iris vericolor (blue flag)
Iris virginica (southern blue flag)
Juncus spp. (rush)
Leersia oryzoides (rice cutgrass)
Lobelia cardinalis (cardinal flower)
Lobelia siphilitica (great lobelia)
Lysimachia clethroides (gooseneck loosetrife)
Myosotis scoparius (water forget-me-not)
Orontium aquaticum (golden club)
Peltandra virginica (hardy arum)
Pontederia cordata (pickerel weed)
Sagittaria spp. (arrowwhead)
Sarracenia spp. (pitcher plant)
Saururus cernuus (lizard's tail)
Schoenoplectus validus (soft stem bulrush)
Scirpus americanus (common threesquare)
Spartina alterniflora (cordgrass)
Typha spp. (cattail)
Vernonia noveboracensis (iron weed)

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