Ask a Question forum: Flowers with deep tap roots?

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Name: Gary
Cincinnati Ohio (Zone 6a)
Aug 14, 2016 10:14 PM CST
Hi. In my Taming Wildflowers book it points out that a number of flowers have tap roots that are very deep. As in, "don't attempt to move this flower after the first year because it's tap root is 10 feet deep". Or, "this flower is very drought resistant since its tap root goes down 15 feet."

Some of their examples are, Purple Prairie Clover, Baptisia, Wild Lupine and Compass Plant.

I like the idea of having flowers with deep tap roots. How can I get a more complete list of what's available? I tried Googling it with no luck.

Can you please throw out some names of flowers you know with deep tap roots?
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
Aug 14, 2016 11:17 PM CST
Hi Gary,

I can think of three more: Poppy Mallow, Sagebrush and Dandelions

I don't know that there is a list but, plants listed as drought resistant usually have deep taproots. That's why they are drought resistant. But then cactus and succulents are drought resistant. They don't have deep taproots, just wide ranging roots and the ability to store their own water supply.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

Name: Kat
Magnolia, Tx (Zone 8b)
Aug 15, 2016 8:37 AM CST
Xeriscaping plants are plants adapted to areas. The drought resistant plants are not usually friendly to others - even other drought resistant plants. Thats the survival trait kicking in. You can hardly do mass plantings of something that stands alone or fails because of too much crowding. A LOT of herbs actually have deep tap roots- I suppose because they are basically weeds...
Name: Rick R.
Minneapolis, MN, USA zone 4
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Sages The WITWIT Badge Garden Photography Region: Minnesota Hybridizer
Seed Starter Plant Identifier Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
Aug 15, 2016 1:53 PM CST
To build on Daisyl's exception for "drought resistant [plants] usually have tap roots", google images of "prairie plant root systems". From there you will find a whole host of deep rooted plants, both tap rooted and non-tap rooted. People automatically think by intuition that tap roots are are an adaption to dry climates, but that is not necessarily so.
Name: Gary
Cincinnati Ohio (Zone 6a)
Aug 15, 2016 5:24 PM CST
this is all great information. But are you seriously saying that I shouldn't plant two of these deep two root plants next to each other?

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