Wetland Plant Benefits
Thousands of wetland plants that grow in the United States, including many types of mosses, grasses, and other aquatic vegetation. For most people, the appeal of many wetland plants comes from their aesthetically pleasing flowers and the fact that they grow well in the shade. But wetland plants offer much more. They are praised for promoting biodiversity, and they are vital to many ecosystems. Additionally, wetland plants are used on a larger scale for flood mitigation and restoration projects. They are also a popular choice for environmentally conscious gardeners, as they generally require fewer pesticides and fertilizers than many common plants do. Wetlands exist in virtually every type of biome, ranging from deserts to the frigid arctic tundra. Therefore, wetland plants are also valued for their versatility, as they make perfect additions to gardens everywhere. Wetland habitats and wetland gardens are especially common in the Southeast, Minnesota, and Wisconsin.
Wetland plants fall into three basic categories, which are submerged, floating, and emergent. Emergent plants include grasses, cattails, and other plants with upright stems that grow along the water's edge. Some of the most popular emergent wetland plants are New England aster, Marsh marigold, and Swamp milkweed. New England aster is a beautiful flowering plant that is native to sunny and moist meadows. It has purple flowers that range from a light lavender to a dark royal purple. Along with adding beauty to a wetland area, the New England aster attracts pollinators. It's renowned for its late-season bloom, which goes from August through October. The plant reaches a mature height of 3-6 feet. Marsh marigold, in contrast to New England aster, blooms earlier in the season. In fact, its striking yellow flowers are some of the first to appear in the spring. In addition to producing attractive flowers, Marsh marigold helps to clarify water by trapping silt and absorbing nutrients. This plant prefers partially shaded wooded areas and wet soil. It reaches a height of less than one foot fully grown, and it thrives in USDA Zones 1-6. Swamp milkweed, a perennial, is used for decorative purposes. It reaches a height of 2-4 feet when fully grown. In the wild, it's a source of food for small animals and pollinators. Swamp milkweed produces beautiful pink-purple flowers with white undertones. It is an excellent companion to monkey flower. It thrives in USDA Zones 3-9.