[NAFEX] Best edible plants in Zone 5 rain garden?

Matt Demmon mdemmon at gmail.com
Wed Feb 17 11:19:52 EST 2010

Elderberry. American black currant (not a heavy producer). Hazelnut
will do just fine, the native species is often growing in certain
wetlands or right at the edge of rivers.

I would think pawpaw would be just fine with flooding. I've actually
seen them growing in the floodplain at Aman park near Grand Rapids, in
the understory of sycamore and silver maple.

Most rain gardens, especially once the plant roots go down and aerate
the soil during the first year, do not hold water for long. Only if
the soil is very heavy clay or the water table is already high would
they hold water for that long. Young plants are most susceptible to
flooding death.

On 2/16/10, Douglas Woodard <dwoodard at becon.org> wrote:
> A lady in Grand Rapids, Michigan has written to a permaculture list
> inquiring about edible plants suited for an area that is subject to
> flooding in, I gather, thunderstorms, torrential rains etc.
> I've thought of suggesting nannyberry, Aronia (for juice), groundnut and
> spicebush (I've heard of a gourmet chef using the fruit in a kind of
> relish).
> I wonder if pawpaw and just maybe northern pecan might suit. I gather
> that they are bottomland plants. Can they tolerate occasional short-term
> flooding when in active growth? Does anyone have any suggestive experience?
> Other suggestions welcome.
> Doug Woodard
> St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada
> **********
> Joan  wrote:
>> Many residential and organizational property owners in our area are
>> planting
>> rain gardens, mainly with native ornamental plants. Can anyone recommend
>> (native) edible perennials that would do well in a rain garden in Zone 5
>> (hardy to -20 F)? As I understand it, rain gardens sometimes hold water
>> for
>> up to 48 hours in their deepest sections, so I'd also like to know whether
>> recommended edibles can take standing water for two days or whether they
>> should be planted more toward the rain garden edges.
>> Grand Rapids, MI  USDA zone 5
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-matt demmon

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