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Trees and Shrubs for Wet Areas

Plants marked with an * are more tolerant of very wet or periodically flooded conditions. When using this list, remember a number of factors determine the suitability of a plant for a particular location. In addition to adaptability to moisture, also consider light requirements, soil type, hardiness and heat tolerance, and other factors.

TREES: (Botanical Name – Common Name)

Tall Deciduous Trees (50 feet or more in height at maturity)

  • *Acer rubrum – Red Maple
  • Catalpa species – Catalpa
  • *Liquidambar styraciflua – Sweet Gum
  • Metasequoia glyptostroboides – Dawn Redwood
  • *Platanus occidentalis – Sycamore
  • *Quercus bicolor – Swamp White Oak
  • *Quercus nigra – Water Oak
  • Quercus palustris – Pin Oak
  • *Quercus phellos – Willow Oak
  • *Salix species – Willows
  • *Taxodium ascendens – Pond Cypress
  • *Taxodium distichum – Bald Cypress

Medium Deciduous Trees (30 to 50 feet in height at maturity)

  • Asimina triloba – Pawpaw
  • *Betula nigra – River Birch
  • *Carpinus caroliniana – Ironwood
  • *Diospyros virginiana – Persimmon
  • Gleditsia triacanthos – Honey Locust
  • Magnolia macrophylla – Bigleaf Magnolia
  • *Nyssa aquatica – Water Tupelo
  • *Nyssa sylvatica – Black Gum
  • *Quercus laurifolia – Laurel Oak

Small Deciduous Trees (under 30 feet in height at maturity)

  • Amelanchier arborea – Juneberry
  • Chionanthus virginicus – Fringetree
  • Cornus alternifolia – Pagoda Dogwood
  • Halesia carolina – Carolina Silverbell
  • Hamamelis virginiana – Witch Hazel
  • Magnolia tripetala – Umbrella Magnolia

Evergreen Trees

  • *Chamaecyparis thyoides -White Cedar
  • Ilex opaca – American Holly
  • Magnolia grandiflora – Southern Magnolia
  • *Magnolia virginiana – Sweet Bay
  • *Pinus elliotti – Slash Pine
  • *Pinus taeda – Loblolly Pine

SHRUBS (Botanical Name – Common Name)

Evergreen Shrubs

  • Agarista populifolia – Florida Leucothoe
  • Cyrilla racemiflora – Leatherwood
  • Fatsia japonica – Japanese Fatsia
  • *Ilex glabra – Inkberry
  • Ilex verticillata – Winterberry
  • Ilex vomitoria – Yaupon Holly
  • Leucothoe axillaris – Coastal Leucothoe
  • Myrica cerifera – Wax Myrtle
  • Osmanthus americanus – Devilwood

Deciduous Shrubs

  • Aesculus parviflora – Bottlebrush Buckeye
  • Aronia arbutifolia – Red Chokeberry
  • Baccharis halimifolis – Groundsel Tree
  • Callicarpa americana – American Beautyberry
  • Calycanthus floridus – Sweetshrub
  • *Cephalanthus occidentalis – Buttonbush
  • Chimonanthus praecox – Wintersweet
  • *Clethra alnifolia – Summersweet
  • *Cornus sericea – Redtwig Dogwood
  • Forsythia species – Forsythia
  • Fothergilla species – Fothergilla
  • *Ilex decidua – Possumhaw
  • *Itea virginica – Virginia Sweetspire
  • *Lindera species – Spicebush
  • Rhododendron atlanticum – Coast Azalea
  • Rhododendron viscosum – Swamp Azalea
  • Rhodotypos scandens – Jetbead
  • Rosa carolina – Carolina Rose
  • Rosa palustris – Swamp Rose
  • Sambucus nigra canadensis – American Elderberry
  • Spiraea x vanhouttei – Bridal Wreath Spiraea
  • Thuja occidentalis – American Arborvitae
  • Vaccinium arboreum – Farkleberry
  • Viburnum opulus – Cranberry Viburnum
  • Xanthorhiza simplicissima – Yellowroot

Source: Karen Russ, Clemson University. (New 11/04.)

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