Good grey water filtering plants

Richard Haard
Fri, 11 Nov 2011 22:48:22 PST
> Any ideas from the experts out there?

Common cattail is widely used for water cleanup but a less rampant grower and somewhat attractive is Schoenoplectus robustus (Pursh) M.T. Strong 
sturdy bulrush. It does form corms and is found in brackish water. Another attractive, (I think), emergent found in river mouths and brackish waters is Schoenoplectus americanus (Pers.) Volkart ex Schinz & R. Keller chairmaker's bulrush. 

I'm especially partial to Sparganium emersum Rehmann European bur-reed. This is a very attractive low growing emergent found in farm ditches. Also very ornamental, tuber forming, is Sagittaria latifolia Willd. broadleaf arrowhead. I am not sure how these two species would tolerate gray-water. 

One I often find in failed septic tank polluted roadside ditches is Oenanthe sarmentosa C. Presl ex DC. , water parsely. Another plant found in similar habitat is Nasturtium officinale W.T. Aiton  watercress. These plants are often mixed with Veronica americana Schwein. ex Benth. American speedwell. All of these three overwinter here in PNW green, have dense fiberous roots and will be physiologically active during mild winters. 

All are native plants and are listed in USDA plants database as naturally occurring at your lat/long 

Rich Haard
Bellingham Wa

> --Lee Poulsen
> Pasadena, California, USA - USDA Zone 10a
> Latitude 34°N, Altitude 1150 ft/350 m
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