Mt Cuba Center
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An ecological gardening certificate student completes a Native Plants of Fall exam in Mt. Cuba Center's naturalistic gardens.
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Wide shot of flowering Amsonia.
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Mt. Cuba Center evaluates native plants and related cultivars for horticultural and ecological value.

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Mt. Cuba conserves and stewards more than 1,000 acres including meadows, forests, streams and riparian corridors.

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Mt Cuba Center
Back to News Updates – September 11, 2018


7 Plants that Love “Wet Feet”

Native plants are adapted to the local climate, including the steady rains we’ve had here in northern Delaware. Here’s seven plants that love wet feet, and that you can spot in our gardens in late summer:

Silver and Gold redosier dogwood (Cornus sericea ‘Silver and Gold’) This attractive shrub gets all the more interesting after it loses its leaves – its bright yellow stems are striking! Located just outside our Trial Garden fence.

Lowbush blueberry (Vaccinium angustifolium) Thriving in full sun and part shade conditions, the flowers of lowbush blueberry turn into delicious, sweet and tart berries at the end of summer. You’ll have to compete with the birds to get them, though! Located at 5 Points.

Chadds Ford white nodding ladies’ tresses (Spiranthes cernua ‘Chadds Ford’) A striking native orchid, this fall-bloomer needs wet soil to survive. If you see them, lean in for a pleasant surprise – they are sweetly scented! Located in the Bog Garden.

Turtlehead (Chelone glabra) Named for the resemblance its flowers bear to the head of a turtle, this plant is the larval host for the Baltimore Checkerspot Butterfly, and its flowers sometimes attract Ruby Throated Hummingbirds. Located by the Ponds and in our Sunny Border.

Cinnamon fern, Osmundastrum cinnamomeum

Cinnamon fern (Osmundastrum cinnamomeum) This elegant plant loves moist woods and streamsides, and will readily spread. A long-lived showy fern, cinnamon fern is easily recognized when the rusty fertile fronds are present. Located by the Ponds.

Florida anise tree (Illicium floridanum) This deer-resistant shrub has dark green foliage that is aromatic when rubbed or crushed, and unusual-looking flowers and seedheads. Located on the White Pine Path.

Sweet bay (Magnolia virginiana) A medium-sized magnolia tree with creamy white flowers that sweetly smell of lemons, thus its common name. Located by the Ponds.

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