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Water Garden Plants

A water garden is often a man-made water feature, like a pool or pond, that compliments the landscape. They usually have aquatic plants, ornamental fish, art and maybe a waterfall. There are several types of water gardens such as container gardens, raised or sunken ponds, and bog gardens.

Plants are an important part of any water garden. They add life to the garden, and help to create a natural ecosystem. Plants can be submerged, marginal or floating.

This is a list of marginal plants, sometimes known as emergent plants, that are planted around the edges (or margins) of a water garden, or planted within a bog garden, where they have constant access to the moist soil they love.

ACORUS calamus (Common Sweet Flag)
ANEMONE canadensis
(Meadow Anemone)
ARISTOLOCHIA durior (Dutchman’s Pipe)
ARUNCUS dioicus (Goatsbeard)
ASCLEPIAS incarnata (Swamp Milkweed)
ASTER puniceus (Purple-stemmed Aster)
CALTHA palustris (Marsh Marigold)
CHELONE glabra (White Turtlehead)
EUPATORIUM fortune Pink Frost
(Pink Frost Joe-Pye Weed)
EUPATORIUM maculatum
(Joe-Pye Weed)
EUPATORIUM perfoliatum
(Common Boneset)
EUPATORIUM purpureum
(Sweet Joe-Pye Weed)
EUPATORIUM rugosum Chocolate
(Chocolate Snakeroot)
FILIPENDULA rubra Venusta
GENTIANA andrewsii (Bottle Gentian)
HELENIUM autumnale
(Autumn Helen’s Flower)
HIBISCUS moscheutos & Hybrids (Hardy Hibiscus)
HYPERICUM pyramidatum
(Great St. John’s Wort)
IRIS ensata (Japanese Iris)
IRIS sibirica (Siberian Iris)
IRIS versicolor (Larger Blue Flag Iris)
IRIS virginica shrevei (Virginia Flag Iris)

(Yellow Waxbells)
LIGULARIA dentata (Golden-ray)
LIGULARIA przewalskii (Cutleaf Ligularia)
LIGULARIA stenocephala The Rocket
(The Rocket Ragwort)
LOBELIA cardinalis
(Cardinal Flower)
LOBELIA siphilitica
(Great Blue Lobelia)
LYSIMACHIA nummularia (Moneywort)
(Garden Loosestrife)
MEEHANIA cordata (Meehan’s Mint)
MIMULUS ringens
(Alleghany Monkey Flower)
PACKER aurea (Golden Groundsel)
PRIMULA denticulata
(Drumstick Primrose)
PRIMULA japonica (Japanese Primrose)
RODGERSIA aesculifolia
(Fingerleaf Fodgersia)
(Featherleaf Rodgersia)
RODGERSIA tabularis
(Shieldleaf Rodgersia)
SILPHIUM perfoliatum (Cup Plant)
TROLLIUS chinensis & Hybrids (Globeflower)
TROLLIUS europaeus & Hybrids (Globeflower)
VERBENA hastata (Blue Vervain)
VERNONIA fasciculata (Ironweed)
(Virginia Culver’s Root)


DRYOPTERIS erythrosora Brilliance (Brilliance Autumn Fern)
(Goldie’s Wood Fern)
DRYOPTERIS intermedia (Fancy Fern)
MATTEUCCIA struthiopteris
(Ostrich Fern)
ONOCLEA sensiblilis (Sensitive Fern)
OSMUNDA cinnamomea
(Cinnamon Fern)
OSMUNDA claytoniana
(Interrupted Fern)
OSMUNDA regalis (Royal Fern)


(Bluejoint Grass)
CAREX bebbii (Bebb’s Sedge)
CAREX elata Aurea
(Bowles’ Golden Sedge)
CAREX hystericina (Bottlebrush Sedge)
CAREX muskingumensis (Palm Sedge)
CAREX vulpinoidea (Fox Sedge)
HIEROCHLOE odorata (Sweet Grass)
JUNCUS effuses (Soft Rush)
JUNCUS filiformis Spiralis
(Corkscrew Rush)
JUNCUS torreyi (Torrey’s Rush)
LUZULA sylvatica Solar Flair
(Solar Flair Wood Rush)
SPARTINA pectinata (Prairie Cordgrass)