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Vernal Pool Gardens are temporary ponds or frequently flooded ditches that are submerged in the winter and spring and then dry out in the summer and fall.

Wool Grass, Blue Flag Iris, Blueberry, Wild Hydrangea, Ferns, Giant Bulrush, Rose Mallow, Purple Flowering Raspberry, Eastern Wahoo, and Possumhaw Viburnum are examples of the special plants growing in or on the edges of Vernal Pool Gardens.

It is not uncommon for spring peepers, salamanders, and turtles to be found living in or frequently visiting the vernal pool.  Dragonflies, butterflies, and many other beneficial insects are drawn to vernal pools.  Small mammals also will often use vernal pools as an important water source.

Installation of a Vernal Pool Garden involves minor excavation where water already naturally collects and the addition of water-retention features.

 

Recommended Plants

HerbaceousShrubsTrees
Asclepias incarnataCephalanthus occidentalisAesculus pavia
Alisma subcordatumCornus racemosaAmelanchier canadensis
Aruncus dioicusHibiscus moscheutosChamaecyparis thyoides
Chelone glabraPhysocarpus opulifoliusDiospyros virginiana
Conoclinium coelestinumRhododendron viscosumEuonymus atropurpureus
Doelllingeria umbellataRosa palustris
Eupatorium perfoliatumRubus odoratus
Euthamia graminifoliaViburnum nudum
Gentiana andrewsii
Helenium autumnale
Iris virginica
Juncus tenuis
Lobelia cardinalis
Lobelia siphilitica
Lysimachia ciliata
Mimulus ringens
Mitella diphylla
Oligoneuron rigidum
Osmunda regalis
Packera aurea
Phlox paniculata ‘Jeana’
Pycnanthem virginianum
Rudbeckia laciniata
Sanguisorba canadensis
Scirpus cyperinus
Spiranthes cernua
Symohyotrichum puniceum
Xanthorhiza simplicissima
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