Rain Gardens on the BC Sunshine Coast

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Rain Gardens – Native Plant List – Part 1

This native plant species page covers sample Emergents – one Sedge, three Rushes, and a Bulrush) as well as Native Grasses. Listed are varieties which are well-suited to Rain Gardens and are native to coastal British Columbia.

Native Plants – Evergreen Emergents and Native Grasses

Evergreen Emergents – Sedges, Rushes, and Bulrushes

Slough Sedge (Carex obnupta): Zones 1 and 2
Carex obnuta: Sunlight requirements - sun/partial sun
- 30-90 cm (12-36") high, 122 cm (48") wide
- C. obnuta blooms in the late Spring (April and May)
- Shiny foliage, spreads rapidly, excellent soil binder
 First Nations use Slough Sedge as a basket material.

Other coastal BC native sedges are: Henderson's Sedge (Carex hendersonii), the Woodrush Sedge (C. ablata), the Many-Flowered Sedge (C. pluriflora), the Few-Flowered Sedge (C. pauciflora), and Kellogg Sedge (C. kelloggii).
The so-called 'White Beak-Rush' (Rhynchospora alba) is actually a sedge.

Dagger-Leaf Rush (Juncus ensifolius): Zone 1
Junncus ensifolius: Full sun; blooms May-to-August
- 15-38 cm (6-15") high, 45-60 cm (18-24") wide
- Brown flowers (small & rounded like pom-poms)
- Yellow-orange Fall colours; aka Sword-leaf Rush
 Dagger-Leaf Rushes have flattened, iris-like stems

Taper-Tip Rush (Juncus acuminatus): Zone 1
J. acuminatus: Full sun; blooms Spring-to-Summer
- 15-38 cm (6-15") high, 15-23 cm (6-9") wide
- Open array clusters of purple to red-brown flowers
- J. acuminatus clusters have up to 20 flowers each
 Delicate but flood-tolerant; aka Sharp-Fruited Rush

Slender Rush (Juncus tenuis): Zones 1 and 2
Juncus tenuis: Full sun; blooms May-to-September
- 15-50 cm (6-20") high, 15-75 cm (6-30") wide
- Soft, bright green foliage and delicate flowers
- Clay/sandy soils, high tolerance of compacted soil
- Rarely sold by nurseries; aka Wiregrass, Path Rush

Other native Coastal BC rush species are: the Common Rush (J. effusus, a rather slow-spreading species) and the Baltic Rush (Juncus balticus).

Small-Fruited Bulrush (S. microcarpus): Zone 1
Scirpus microcarpus: Partial sun; blooms June-to-Aug
- 60-90 cm (24-36") high, 30-60 cm (12-24") wide
- Spreads very aggressively; excellent soil binder
- Large, round flower clusters persist over winter
 Combine with Douglas Asters, spiky flowers, etc.

Ornamental Native Grasses

Bluejoint (Calamagrostis canadensis): Zone 2 & 3
C. canadensis: Full sun;*  blooms in June-to-July
- 0.9-1.5 m high, 0.8-1.2 m wide; Flowers at ~1.5 m
- Drought tolerant; moisture determines flower height
- Bluejoint is a good soil stabilizer in wet conditions
 * Full sun only in moist soil; partial shade in dry soil

Cotton Grass (Eriophorum angustifolium): Zone 1
Eriophorum angustifolium: Full sun (shade intolerant)
- 1.22 m (48") high, 0.60 m (24") wide, spreading
- Blooms in late Spring; present Summer-to-Fall
- Small yellow flowers followed by brown seeds
 Common in BC bogs, fens, marshes, wet meadows

Sitka Brome Grass (Bromus sitchensis): Zone 2
Bromus sitchensis: Partial sun/shade (shade-tolerant)
- Blooms late-Spring; yellow flowers/brown seeds
- 0.60-1.60 m (2-5') high, 0.60 m (24") wide
- Fast-growing; long-lived; available commercially
 Also known as Sitka Bunchgrass or Alaska Brome

Sechelt Rain Gardens – A Native Plant List for Coastal BC – Part 2

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