Good grey water filtering plants

Lee Poulsen
Fri, 11 Nov 2011 21:22:15 PST
I recently received a Facebook email from someone I don't know who found me while perusing the PBS wiki. (I live close to her, so she contacted me.) She doesn't belong to the list (and didn't even know what it was) so I told her I would ask and see what all the experts here might suggest. Here is her question:

"We are putting in a grey water system and we want a reed bed to filter the water. However, I don't want invasive reeds in my garden and I read that another choice might be Crinum Lillies i.e. Hymenocallis Occidentalis, Crinum Americanum as well as a couple of Iris species. As an expert, I wonder if you know where to buy any of these plants?"

First I told her I wasn't an expert. ;-)
Then I mentioned that there are probably a lot more choices of Crinums, Hymenocallis, and both Iris species as well as Iris hybrids (such as the Louisiana and Japanese Iris hybrids and relatives) that she might really like to try. 

I have no clue as to which are good water filtering plants however. Or if there are other genera that might be good for this, including non-bulbous plants, that also aren't invasive. I'm hoping that there are some good plants that are both good at filtering water AND have amazing flowers, etc. She lives on the side of one of the hills near downtown L.A. which has an extremely mild climate (virtually never reaches 0°C and rarely gets very hot either).

Any ideas from the experts out there?
--Lee Poulsen
Pasadena, California, USA - USDA Zone 10a
Latitude 34°N, Altitude 1150 ft/350 m

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