Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Stormwater Strategy - Native Plants for BioSwales

Native plants suitable for stormwater plantings, bioswales and modular wetlands will be the topic of our next several posts.

Importantly, native species should be the choice for landscaping bioswales nad areas adjacent to and surrounding stormwater facilities.

Native plant species possess the inherent ability to 'Acclimate' to most sub-ecotones on a site.  Moreover, native plant species typically require only enough temporary irrigation to allow themselves to become established.  This is important since we live in a time where water supply and reserves have reached critical levels.

Purple muhly grass is shown below.  Also know by the scientific name, Muhlenbergia capillaris, purple muhly grass benefits a site in many different ways, including;

1. acts as a filter preventing trash from entering the water's edge,
2. uptakes pollutants such as nitrogen, phosphorous and carbon,
3. produces oxygen,
4. provides significant foraging and communal habitat for wildlife, and
5. creates beauty.

Purple muhly grass, native stormwater area-bioswale plant
Purple muhly grass can tolerate periodic inundation, high groundwater tables and also is very resiliant to drought.

Though many consider native plants - 'weeds' - a sharp landscape designer can take native flowering species and accomplish much.

Consider using native species for your next bioswale project, especially Muhlenbergia capillaris - purple muhly grass.

Please feel free to email us with your gren and sustainable bmp questions.


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