NameCommon NameColorHeightBloom TimeLightPlant TypeSpreadDeer ResistantNative (N) or Cultivar (C)Moisture (D-Dry, M-Medium, Ms-Moist, MW-Medium Wet, W-Wet)ButterflyClayRG LocationFebMarchAprilMayJuneJulyAugSeptOctNotesCategoryEdibleMissouri Botanical GardenUSDA PlantsImage LinkRecomended by (WC-Washtenaw County, NEO-Local NEO Agencies)
Acer rubrumRed MapleRed90’Mar-AprAll Tree30-50'NM, WAll light levels
Actaea pachypoda
White Baneberry Doll's Eyes
White1'-2'MayShForb12" o.c.?NMA delicate little plant with lacy leaves. The berries really do look like doll's eyes. Beautiful garden plant - does it work in rain gardens? Plants to Try
Actaea rubraRed BaneberryWhite12-36"MayShForb12"YesNM, Msgood for woodland setting, not especially showy, best massed for a nice texture, poisonous
Full Shade
Adiantum pedatumMaidenhair Fern n/a12"P, ShFERN12" o.c.YesNM, Ms short plant, beautiful lacey texture. Resents the dry. Part Shade to Shade
Agrimonia parvifloraSwamp Agrimony Yellow2.5-5'JulySn, PForb3-4' ?NMs, W Recommended by Greg Vaclavek, so probably grows fine in a rain garden. Is it pretty? Plants to Try
Allium cernuumNodding Wild Onion Lt. Lavender12"Sept-OctSn, PForb12" o.c.YesND, M, Ms
Bottom - Side?
good short, neat plant for front Sun to Part Sun
Andropogon gerardii Big Bluestem Golden blue 4-8’Sept.-Oct. Full Sun GraminoidYesND, MSome people who truly love natives like it, but generally it is tool tall and to spindly for most.Full Sun
Anemone canadensisCanada Anemone White12"-20"
May-July OR Apr-June?
Sn, P, ShForb18" o.c.YesNM, Ms Ygroundcover, spreads quickly & fills in (can be aggressive--good for someone who doesn't want to weed), resents long periods of drought, Spreads, Poisonous if eaten in larger quantities All light levels
Anthyrium filex-feminaLady Fern n/a24"-36"n/aSn, PFERN24" o.c.YesNM, Ms beautiful fern Sun to Part Sun
Aquilegia canadensisRed Columbine
36MayP, ShForb12"YesND, M, MsButterflySide-Bottomdelicate texture, great for woodland setting Part Shade to Shade, NEO
Aralia racemosaSpikenard White2'-5'Jun-AugP, ShForb5' o.c.?NM, Ms, W Almost shrub-like in its size and shape. Beautiful, graceful limbs. Has purple clusters of berries in the late summer. How does it do in a RG? Plants to Try
Arisaema dracontiumGreen dragon Green1'-3'May-JunP, ShForb12" o.c.?NM, Ms, W Small little woodland dragon, related to Jack-in-the-Pulpit. Plants to Try
Aronia melanocarpaChokecherry white3-6’Apr-MayFS, PShShrub3-6'NMEasily grown in average, medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. Plants have a wide range of soil tolerance including boggy soils. Best fruit production usually occurs in full sun. Remove root suckers to prevent colonial spread.Full Sun to Part ShadeEdible
Asarum canadenseWild GingerMaroon8MayP, ShForb12" o.c.YesNM, MsBottomgood low, facer plant with interesting heart-shaped leaves that form a contrast texture, straight native species, but WT not cultivating at this time Part Shade to Shade
Asclepias incarnataSwamp Milkweed Pink/Purple3-4'JulyP, ShForb12" o.c.YesNM, Ms, W ButterflyClaywhen full grown, a little leggy-looking and needs plants in front, good for clay Part Shade to Shade, NEO
Asimina trilobaPaw Paw Purple15'-30'Apr-MaySn, P, ShTree15-30'?NM, Ms, WHuge leaves, produces yummy banana-flavored fruit after a decade or so. Beautiful tree - will it work in a rain garden? Plants to TryEdible
Aster dumosis 'Woods Light Blue'
'Woods Light Blue' Woods Blue Aster
Lavender1-2'Aug-OctSn, PForb18" o.c.CD, M, MsButterfly very compact, florific aster with prolific lavender flowers Sun to Part Sun
Aster laevisSmooth Aster
Lt. Blue/Lavender
4-5'Sept-OctSn, PForb
12-18" o.c.
ND, M, Mswhen full grown, is leggy-looking--can be trimmed to 6" in June for bushier growth, plant something in front Sun to Part Sun, NEO
Aster novae-angliaeNew England Aster Deep Purple4-5'Sept-OctSn, PForb
12-18" o.c.
ND, M, MsButterflyis leggy-looking--can be trimmed to 6" in June for bushier growth (plant something in front) good for drawing beneficial (predatory) insects Sun to Part Sun, NEO
Aster novae-angliae 'Purple Dome'
'Purple Dome' New England Aster Purple
Deep Purple1.5-2'Sept-OctSn, PForb18" o.c.CD, M, Msmore compact, florific version of the species w/ deep purple flowers, can be prone to fungus Sun to Part Sun
Aster oblongifolius 'October Skies'
'October Skies' October Skies Aster
Lt. Blue/Lavender
4-5'Sept-OctSnForb18" o.c.CD, MButterflyfacer plant on drier edges Full Sun
Baptisia australis
Baptisia or FALSE Indigo
Blue3-4'JuneSnForb3' o.c.ND, M, MsClaygood dramatic accent plant, really needs full sun, almost looks like a shrub, good for clay Full Sun, NEO
Baptisia lacteaWhite FALSE Indigoblue2-4’May-JulyFS, PShForb2-5'NButterflyFull Sun to Part Shade
Betula alleghaniensisYellow Birch Yellow40'-70'Apr-MaySn, PTree ?NM, Ms, W Beautiful tree, not often planted. Plants to Try
Betula nigraRiver Birch brown70’June-JulyFS, PShTree40-60'YesNM, WClayFull Sun to Part Shade
Betula pumilaBog Birch Brown5'-12'May-JunSn, PShrub ?NMs, W Shrubby birch. Plants to Try
Caltha palustrisMarsh Marigold Yellow1'-1.5'Apr-JunSn, P, ShForb12" o.c.?NM, Ms, WBeautiful native, short with big yellow flowers in spring. Grows along pristine streams. How does it do in a rain garden? Plants to Try, NEO
Carex grayiiGray's Sedgen/a18May/JuneP, ShGraminoid18"YesNM, MsBottominteresting seed heads if get close Part Shade to Shade
Carex hystericinaPorcupine Sedge n/a2-3'June-Oct.Sn, PGraminoid
12-18" o.c.
YesNMs, W Butterflygood workhorse for all settings, provides nice texture if massed Sun to Part Sun
Carex muskingumensisPalm Sedge n/a2-3'June-Oct.Sn, P, ShGraminoid
12-18" o.c.
YesNM, Ms, WButterflygood workhorse for all settings, provides nice texture if massed All light levels, NEO
Carex sprengeliiSprengel's Sedge n/a18"May/JuneP, ShGraminoid18" YesND, M, Ms Butterflyclumper, good for drier edges, seed heads shoot up 2-3' Part Shade to Shade
Carex stipata
Common Fox Sedge
Green24"MaySn, P, ShGraminoid
12-18" o.c.
YesND, M, Msprovides nice texture if massed All light levels
Carex vulpinoideaBrown Fox Sedge n/a2-3'June-Oct.Sn, P, ShGraminoid
12-18" o.c.
YesND, M, Ms,ButterflyAnywheregood workhorse for all settings, provides nice texture if massed All light levels, NEO
Carpinus carolinianaMusclewood Green15'-30'Apr-MaySn, P, ShTree ?NM, Ms, WBeautiful small tree, muscled bark. Lives in floodplains, how about a rain garden? Plants to Try
Carya cordiformisBitternut Hickory Yellow50'-85'May-JunSn, PTree ?NM, Ms, W Slow growing tree, yellow fall color. Plants to Try
Caulophyllum thalictroidesBlue Cohosh Green24"AprilShForb12" o.c.YesNMs good for woodland setting, not terribly showy, but interesting foliage and berries for those who like diversity Full Shade
Cephalanthus occidentalisButtonbush White6'-15'Jun-AugSn, PShrubna ?NMs, W Beautiful, glossy leaves. Often grows in the wild in a woodsy opening, on the edges of a vernal pond. Plants to Try
Cercis canadensisRed Bud Pink25'MaySn, P, ShTreeTreeND, M, Msgreat small native floodplaing tree, can be susceptible to wind damage All light levels
Chelone glabraWhite TurtleheadWhite to Purple1-3'July-Oct.SnForb1.5-2.5'NM, WButterflyVery sensitive to varying moisture levels, tends to flop, has conservative soil type range - not good for general rain garden use.Full Sun
Chelone lyonii 'Hot Lips'
'Hot Lips' Hot Lips Turtlehead
Pink2-3'Aug-SeptSn, PForb
18-24" o.c.
CD, M, MsButterflyClaygood for clay, neat and long blooming, combines beautifully with joe pye weed Sun to Part Sun
Clethra alnifoliaSummer Sweet white7-8’July-AugFull Sun Shrub4-6'M, WButterflyClayFull Sun
Coreopsis tripterisTall Coreopsis Yellow4'-7'Jul-SepSn, PForb24" o.c.NM Tall, and stays upright. Good in dry sand, well-drained sand rain gardens, and possibly heavier soils - try it and see. Plants to Try
Cornus amomumSilky Dogwood White3'-9'Jun-JulSn, P, ShShrubna ?NMs, W ButterflyA spreading shrub. Does it sucker and spread too much to be in a residential garden? Plants to Try
Cornus sericea
Red-twig Dogwood
White5-8'May-JuneSn, PShrub6' o.c.N
D, M, Ms, W
Butterflycan get big, but has great red winter stem color (trim 43468 each year to promote best red color), best with groundcover underneath Sun to Part Sun
Cornus sericea 'Flaviramea'
'Flaviramea' Yellow-twig Dogwood
White5-8'May-JuneSn, PShrub4' o.c.C
D, M, Ms, W
Butterflycan get big, but has great chartreuse winter stem color, best with groundcover underneath Sun to Part Sun
Echinacea purpureaPurple Coneflower Pink/Lavender3'-3.5'July-AugSn, PForb
12-18" o.c.
ND, M, MsClaygood for clay, good butterfly plant Sun to Part Sun, NEO
Echinacea purpurea 'Magnus'
'Magnus' Magnus Purple Coneflower
Pink/Lavender2.5'-3'July-AugSn, PForb
12-18" o.c.
CD, M, MsClaygood for clay, more compact and full than straight species, good butterfly plant Sun to Part Sun
Echninacea purpurea 'Snowcone'
'Snowcone' Snowcone Cone Flower
White2.5-3'June-Aug.Sn, PForb
12-18" o.c.
CD, M, Msgood for clay, good butterfly plant Sun to Part Sun
Elymus virginicusVirginia Wild Ryegreen, straw2-3’July-SeptFS, PShGraminoid1-2'YesNMFull Sun to Part Shade
Eryngium aquaticumRattlesnake Master white3-6’May-SeptFull Sun, Part SunForb1-3'M, WSun to Part Sun
Eryngium yuccifolium
Rattlesnake Master White/Lt.
Green3'July-Sept.SnForb18" ND, M, Msdramatic form, not for the faint of heart Full Sun
Eupatorium maculatum
Spotted Joe Pye Weed
Dusky Pink5-6'July-AugSn, PForb24" o.c.ND, M, Msreally tall and dramatic, draws beneficial insects Sun to Part Sun
Eupatorium 'Phantom'
Joe Pye Weed--Phantom
Dusky Pink4-5'Aug.-Sept.Sn, PForb24"o.c. CD, M, Msshorter version of following straight species Sun to Part Sun
Eupatorium purpureum
Green-Stemmed Joe-Pye Weed
Rose to pink 3-5’July-Sept. SnForb2-4'YesNMClayFull Sun
Eupatorium rugosumWhite Snakeroot White2'-4'Jul-SepP, ShForb24" o.c.?NM Nice white flowers in shade, I hear it is a spreader. There is a cultivar 'Chocolate'. How does it do in a rain garden? Plants to Try
Filipendula rubraQueen of the Prairie pink4-5’June-JulyFS, PShForb3-4'YesNM, WClayFull Sun to Part Shade
Fragaria virginianaWild Strawberry White6-12"May-JuneSn, P, ShForb18" o.c.YesND, M, Msedible, great groundcover for spreading in between plants that are spaced far, can spread into adjoining lawn (check with owner), nice fall color All light levelsEdible
Fragaria x 'Lipstick'StrawberryDeep rose red6-12"April-OctFS, PShForb12"YesCMAll light levelsEdible
Geranium maculatumWild Geranium Lavender12"-24"May-JuneSn, P, ShForb12" o.c.YesND, M, MsSideneat native that clumps, stays small and keeps leaves throughout season, nice fall color All light levels
Glyceria striataFowl Manna Grassgreen1-5’June-JulyFull Sun GraminoidNM, MW, WFull Sun
Gymnocladus dioicus
Kentucky Coffee Tree
White60'-85'JunSn, PTree40-55'?NM, Ms, W Pre-historic looking tree. Bulletproof in street-side locations. Seeds used by native americans as marbles. Plants to Try
Helenium autumnaleSneezeweed Yellow3'-6'Aug-SepSn, PForb18" o.c.?NMs, W ButterflyNice flowers. Does it do ok in a rain garden? Plants to Try
Heracleum maximumCow Parsnip White4'-7'Jun-JulSn, P, ShForb6' o.c.?NM, Ms, WVery big, tall plant. Dramatic! A good focal point. Resembles the toxic Giant Hogweed, but otherwise is very pretty. Pretty enough for gardens? Plants to TryEdible
Hibiscus moscheutosRose Mallow Pink4'-6'Aug-SeptSnForb32" o.c.NM, Ms, WHuge pink flowers, shrub-like Full Sun
Hydrophyllum virginianumVirginia Waterleaf Lavender1-1.5'May-JuneShForb10" o.c.NM, Ms, Wnot espeically showy, best massed for even texture, can take water Full Shade
Hypericum kalmianum
Kalm's St. John’s Wort
Yellow1'-2'Jun-AugSn, PShrub2' o.c.?NMs, W A nice little spreading shrub. We just have never tried it! Does it do ok in a rain garden situation? Plants to Try
Ilex verticillataWinterberry White4-6'June-JulySnShrub3.5' o.c.NM, Ms, WAcidic needs acid soil (not clay!), makes it possible for companion female plant below to bloom and fruit Full Sun, NEO
Ilex verticillata 'Jim Dandy'
'Jim Dandy' Winterberry-Male
White4-6'June-JulySnShrub3.5' o.c.CM, Ms, WAcidic needs acid soil (not clay!), makes it possible for companion female plant below to bloom and fruit Full Sun
Ilex verticillata 'Nana Red Sprite'
'Nana Red Sprite' Winterberry-Female
White2-3'June-JulySnShrub2.5' o.c.CM, Ms, WAcidic needs acid soil (not clay!), amazing winter berries (needs male above--1 male for every 5 females) Full Sun
Iris versicolor Blue Flag Iris Blue2-3’June-July SnForb2-2.5'YesM, WFull Sun
Iris virginicaBlue Flag Iris Lt. Blue/Lavender2-3'May-JuneSn, P, ShForb
12-18" o.c.
YesNM, Ms, Wgreat clean and neat foliage, nice flower, really tough--an excellent workhorse All light levels
Itea virginica 'Henry's Garnet'
'Henry's Garnet' Sweetspire
White4'May-JuneSn, P, ShShrub3' o.c.CM, Ms beautiful fall color, but susceptible to winter kill, need to prune off winter dead in spring All light levels
Juncus tenuisPath Rush Green1'-2'late springP, ShGraminoid12" o.c.?NM, Ms A litle rush. Is it pretty enough to be a garden plant? Plants to Try
Juncus torreyiTorrey’s Rush orange2-3’June-JulyFull Sun GraminoidNM, WFull Sun
Larix laricinaTamarack Tree40'-75'naSn, PTree ?NMs, W Yellow fall color, deciduous confer. How does it do in a rain garden? Plants to Try
Liatris pynostachyaPrairie Blazing Starpurple2-3’July-OctFull Sun Forb1-2'ND, MButterflyClayFull Sun
Liatris spicataBlazing Star Pink/Purple3-5'JulySn, PForb10" o.c.NM, Ms Claya clumper, flower spike can get quite tall, needs facer plant in front, nice color for that time of season, can take clay Sun to Part Sun, NEO
Liatris spicata 'Kobold'
'Kobold' Kobold Blazing Star
Pink/Purple2'JulySn, PForb
12-18" o.c.
CM, Ms Claya clumper, a great cultivated version of the species, full form w/ multiple flower spikes, can take clay Sun to Part Sun
Lilium michiganenseMichigan Lily Orange4'-5'Jun-AugSn, PForb4' o.c.NM I have no idea if this would thrive in a rain garden, but wouldn't it be cool if it did? Plants to Try
Lindera benzoinSpicebush Yellow5'-10'Apr-MayP, ShShrub8' o.c.?NMs, W ButterflyBeautiful shrub. How does it do in a rain garden? Plants to Try
Liriodendron tulipiferaTulip Poplar White60'-110'Apr-MaySn, PTree ?NMs, W ButterflyYellow fall color, beautiful tree, big orange/green flowers in spring. How does it do in a rain garden? Plants to Try
Lobelia cardinalisCardinal Flower red3'July-AugP, ShForb12" o.c.NM, Ms a little picky, likes moist best, narrow form, can be short lived but will re-seed if happy, aesthetically best used with shorter plants around Part Shade to Shade, NEO
Lobelia siphiliticaBlue Lobeliablue purple30"July-SeptSn, P, ShForb12" o.c.YesNM, Ms Bottomlonger lived than sister cardinal flower, nice blue at end of the season, neat for native, good for drawing beneficial (predatory) insects All light levels, NEO
Lycopus americanus 
Cut-leaved Water Horehound 
White 1-2’ June-Sept. SunForb12-18"MW, WFull Sun
Matteuccia struthiopterisOstrich Fern n/a36"n/aP, ShFERN18" o.c.YesNM, Ms doesn't like to dry out, can be aggressive if happy, good for clay Part Shade to Shade, NEO
Monarda didyma Bee Balm Red 2-5’Summer Sun Forb2-3'YesM, WButterflyClayPowdery mildew can be a serious problem, particularly in crowded gardens with poor air circulation. In addition, if the soil is allowed to dry out, the stressed plants become increasingly susceptible to disease. Rust can also be a problem. Deer and rabbits tend to avoid this plant.Full Sun
Monarda fistulosa Wild Bergamot  Lavender 2-5’July-Sept.Full to part Sun Forb2-3'YesND, MButterflyClayGets an ugly fungus on it after it blooms.Sun to Part Sun
Monarda punctataHorsemint White-Pink18-30"July-AugSn, PForb
12-18" o.c.
YesND, M, MsSand has showy, dramatic bracts, can get a little spindly, prefers sandy soils, self sows, bee attractor, salt tolerant Sun to Part Sun
Myrica galeSweet Gale Green3'-5'JuneSn, PShrub5' o.c.?W A small shrub, sweetly scented leaves, this plant is similar to the northeast's Bayberry Plants to Try
Nyssa sylvaticaBlackgum White30'-60'May-JuneSn, PTree N
D, M, Ms, W
beautiful fall color Sun to Part Sun
Onoclea sensibilisSensitive Fern n/a12-24"n/aSn, P, ShFERN12" o.c.YesNM, Ms, WBottoma short, neat fern for the sun, as long as not too dry, great combined with iris All light levels, NEO
Osmunda cinnamomeaCinnamon Fern na2'-3'naP, ShFERN24" o.c.YesNM, Ms, W A bit smaller than Ostrich Fern, and doesn't spread as aggressively as Ostrich Fern does. Does it do well in a rain garden? Is it pretty? Plants to Try, NEO
Osmunda claytonianaInterrupted Fern n/a12-24"n/aP, ShFERN12" o.c.YesNM, Ms, W Claytall, similar to Ostrich Fern, but holds up better in the late summer Part Shade to Shade
Osmunda regalis Royal Fern Non-flowering 1-3’
ShFERN2-3'M, WFull Shade
Panicum virgatumSwitch Grass n/a4-6'Aug.-Sept.SnGraminoid3' o.c.YesN
D, M, Ms, W
Butterflyas long as it has sun, this plant really performs, but can be too floppy for some (use cultivars below if want neater appearance), can re-seed assertively Full Sun, NEO
Panicum virgatum 'Cloud Nine'
'Cloud Nine' Cloud Nine Switch Grass
n/a5-7'Aug.-Sept.SnGraminoid3' o.c.YesC
D, M, Ms, W
(warning!), best with low groundcover (fragaria virginiana, potentilla simplex) since spaced far apart, good for clay, salt tolerant pot tall, neat and dramatic--this is a great plant, takes a while to look like something in the spring, best with low groundcoverFull Sun
Panicum virgatum'Shenandoah'
Shenandoah Switch Grass
n/a3'Aug.-Sept.SnGraminoid2.5' o.c.YesC
D, M, Ms, W
shorter switch grass, beautifully highlighted with wine tinged foliage, takes a while to look like something in the spring, best w simplex) around since spaced far apart, good for clay, salt tolerant ith low groundcover Full Sun
Penstemon digitalis
White Beardtongue
White3-4'JuneSn, PForb18" o.c.YesND,M,MsButterflyClaySidefills the void of blooming native plants in June,good for clay, but can look a little leggy--needs a facer Sun to Part Sun, NEO
Phlox divaricataWoodland Phlox Blue.5-1'April-JuneP, ShForb8" o.c.NM, Ms use sparingly in woodland setting with great soils, foliage goes dormant in summer so plan for companions Part Shade to Shade