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Plants for stormwater design

Plants for Stormwater Design Book Cover

PDF Document Section 1: Table of contents; acknowledgements; intro; using guide; environmental influences on plants; plant considerations and species for stormwater management practices; stormwater management practices; literature cited. (File size = 1.7 MB)

PDF Document Section 2: Table of plant species included in guide; range of applicability map; plant species descriptions, genera A–E. (File size = 3.1 MB)

PDF Document Section 3: Plant species descriptions, genera F-S. (File size = 3 MB)

PDF Document Section 4: Plant species descriptions, genera T-Z; plant descriptions bibliography; appendix 1: planting and maintenance recommendations; appendix 2: vegetation and hydrology data for 3 Twin Cities stormwater projects. (File size = 1.8 MB)

Urban landscape designers, installation practitioners, and stormwater managers will find this a useful resource. Understanding plant species’ susceptibility to water-level fluctuations and landscape pollutants will enable better stormwater detention treatment and aesthetically pleasing systems.

Minnesota Pollution Control Agency staff worked with the authors, Daniel Shaw and Rusty Schmidt, to produce this valuable reference. The goal is to improve stormwater treatment and management practices by using native plants.


Information on 131 plant species regarding their use in stormwater-management practices:

  • habitat and range
  • light exposure needs
  • normal water level
  • flooding/fluctuation tolerances
  • general pollution sensitivities and tolerances
  • design considerations
  • wildlife use
  • nursery stock and seed availability
  • recommended planting techniques
  • photograph

A hydrograph is included for each species, showing the typical depth and duration of inundation that species can tolerate. Species recommendations are provided also for several stormwater best management practices, including dry detention basins or swales; rainwater gardens and similar infiltration basins; stormwater wetlands; wet swales; and filtration strips.

Information and assistance

The book, "Plants for Stormwater Design: Species Selection for the Upper Midwest," is out of print. Hardcopies are no longer available. Consult this webpage periodically for any updates regarding future availability of hardcopies. Otherwise, request a loaned copy through your local interlibrary loan service.

Visit the Stormwater Program webpage for additional resources or questions about stormwater regulations. If you would like to order a hard copy of this manual see the online order form from the University of Minnesota. Exit to WebIf you have questions about the manual, contact Mark Gernes at 651-757-2387.

Last modified on May 02, 2013 14:17

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