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Best perennials near water?  RSS feed

 
Patrick Winters
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My property has a deep ravine, and then further up beside it is a hill that's about a quarter of an acre in size. I'd like to turn the ravine into a pond for bluegills, aquatic plants, and maybe a few ducks (as their HQ when they're not on slug patrol). As for the hill, I'd like to turn that into a food forest, making use of those slopes. The most gradual of those slopes is the east-facing slope that would end as the western shore of the pond, and I figure that the sunlight should bounce off the water onto that east slope and help what's growing there, sepp holzer style. I'd also like to grow more perennials on the other areas surrounding the pond.

My question is this: once you get immediately past the pond's edge and the true aquatic plants, what food-forest perennials would work in that environment the best? I worry that if the microclimate is too moist it'll make fungal diseases too common for many fruit-producing plants. Which perennials suited to the American Northeast enjoy being adjacent to standing water?

Blueberries?
Huckleberries?
Bayberries?
American Beech?
Highbush Cranberry?
Blackberries?
Butternut? Walnut?
Comfrey?
Gooseberries?
Hardy Kiwi?
Japanese Wineberries?
Lingonberries?
Lovage?
Meadowsweet?
Birch Trees?
Partridgeberries?
Pawpaws?
Mints?
Ramps?
Mulberries?
Sea Buckthorn?
Selfheal?
Stinging Nettles?

What do you know does well in proximity to standing water? What plants don't have to worry if there's a flood, or their roots hit the water table?
 
John Elliott
pollinator
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I'm going to have to put in a plug here for my bald cypress trees. They aren't a food plant (unless you are a turkey), but they tolerate standing water better than any other plant. They are also good for stabilizing water flows; they slow down running water with their knobby root systems, and they help transpire lots of standing water with all their leaf mass. They will grow very large and make a good canopy for your planned food forest.

 
John Polk
steward
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Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
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Weeping willow excels along stream banks. Most willows are thirsty creatures. Great for basketry, wattle fences.
Wild rice is another good choice at waters edge. Tasty, nutritious, and expensive to buy in stores.
As long as the water doesn't get stagnant, water cress is a healthy treat.

Fruit trees will need to be further up slope so they don't have to live with wet feet.

 
Sean Banks
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Pawpaw will grow along streams and rivers.....Black walnut is a riparian tree where I live so that would work.........I have seen highbush blueberries growing next to lake shores.........mint will grow next to bodies of water as will stinging nettle.......there are also numerous oak species that will grow around water like swamp chestnut oak or swamp white oak; you could use the acorns to make flour.....
 
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