Potential green roof plants

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ClifflineGardens
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Joined: 2013-01-14

I think I'll contact Dunnett in the Spring, I want some good pictures of the trial roof in bloom.

ClifflineGardens dot com

Fort Collins, CO zone 5b

HeLP
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Joined: 2010-03-22

Our local native plant guru, Dr. Leopold of SUNY ESF  is researching native plant material for greenroof application.  He has taken a bit of different approach.  The link will take you to some information and scrolling down is an interesting list of plants he is experimenting with.http://www.esf.edu/outreach/gi/symposium/documents/toland_etal.pdf

(Moderator note: to gauge download time, PDF file size is 7.7 MB)

Harold Peachey USDA Z5, Lamoine, ME

ClifflineGardens
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Thank you, Harold, that's pretty cool. It's so hard to source plant material like that, but I guess one just has to try. It doesn't say if these were irrigated. Oftentimes, when I read a study, they put in some native plants, walk away, come back a year later and when they're dead, call them failures. However at grade, we give a prairie 3-5 years to establish, which is a much kinder environment. The Ecology of using plants from single plant community is a cool idea, since who knows how these plants are interacting with each other. I look at his research and I ask this, what if the natives were planted into a completely established Sedum? Would the survival rates have been higher? The Sedums hold moisture, while blocking sunlight from hitting the media.

Here's some photos of green roofs I'd like to share, Sedums in extensive and semi-intensive roofs. They grow quite differently! And a shot of Eragrostis spectabilis grass in flower. More people should grow it, it likes hot, dry, sand. Prolific self seeder. Here's one of some colorful huge moth on a Coreopsis palmata.

ClifflineGardens dot com

Fort Collins, CO zone 5b

Weiser
Title: Member
Joined: 2009-12-04

Might I suggest looking at Stipa hymenoides (syn. Achnatherum hymenoides & Oryzopsis hymenoides) Indian Ricegrass. It has a large native range across the western North America and is very drought tolerant tufted grass. (photos below) Another good choice for a shorter tufted effect would be Bouteloua gracilis, Blue Grama also drought tolerant.   

From the High Desert Steppe of the Great Basin and the Eastern Escarpment of the Sierra Nevada Range Located in Reno/Sparks,NV  zone 6-7 http://www.flickr.com/photos/sierrarainshadow/ John P Weiser

ClifflineGardens
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Stipa hymenoides looks very promising. Already growing the Bouteloua gracilis, which I affectionately call eyebrow grass due to the seed head. Also growing Schyzachyrium scoparium, Bouteloua curtipendula, Koeleria cristata, and Panicum virgatum.

ClifflineGardens dot com

Fort Collins, CO zone 5b

cohan
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Joined: 2011-02-03

Some of us are fans of Sedum here! I started some basic rock gardening in my teens, and had started growing cacti and succulents indoors just before that, so my first plant loves are succulents, and any succulents that can be grown outdoors in this cold climate are exciting to me, including Sedums, both common mat forming species and less grown small clumpers. I only have a few now, but hope to expand that number over time!I'm sure the bulk of people who will be using buildings with green rooves, appreciate a more lush (taller) vegetation, but personally I love areas that have low plants only longterm. Although trees/shrubs can be wonderful for shade and form, I know when I lived in the city, the most exciting thing to me was any space where I could see/feel the sun and have a clear view for more than a few metres!

west central alberta, canada; just under 1000m; record temps:min -45C/-49F;max 34C/93F; http://picasaweb.google.ca/cactuscactus  http://urbanehillbillycanada.blogspot.com/

Lori S.
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-10-27

I'd wager too that most people here are growing a variety of Sedums...   The more commonly-grown species may not always feature largely in the "to die for" alpine plant discussions, but just browse around a bit (e.g. the "What do you see on you garden walks" threads) or go to main page and the plug the word "sedum" into the search function.   :)

Great discussion on green roofs!  Thanks, GreenRoofer!

Lori Calgary, Alberta, Canada - Zone 3 -30 C to +30 C (rarely!); elevation ~1130m; annual precipitation ~40 cm

RickR
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-09-21
GreenRoofer wrote:

A lot of people villify Sedums, even on here....

I would like for NARGS as a whole to view Sedums more favorably, I know they're 'too easy', but they can act as a placeholder for more slow to establish species. And in flower, they can be stunning as a mass.

When I mentioned that my friends "resolved to have no Sedum or Sempervivum spp." on their shed roof, I didn't mean they didn't like them.  They grow many sedums in their gardens and numerous troughs.  I think they wanted to prove that they weren't a necessary components on a green roof.  Thirty years ago when they built it, I believe this was a prevailing notion.  I am sorry to have mislead you, if this is where you got the idea that NARGS looks down on sedums. 

As rock gardeners, we just use sedums differently from your green roof ecology theory.  While alpine and green roof ecologies do intersect, obviously, they are not the same.  I grow seven sedum species, myself.  Likewise, grasses certainly are beautiful on a green roof, but I erroneously assumed you were asking for alpine compatible materials.  My apologies, then, for my past comments on same.

Rick Rodich    zone 4a.    Annual precipitation ~24 inches near Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA

Hoy
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Title: Member
Joined: 2009-12-15

In Norway green roof usually means turf on the roof. Turf has been used in millenia although it fell out of use last century. Now it is increasingly popular, especially on cabins:http://www.google.no/search?q=torvtak&hl=no&client=firefox-a&hs=vaN&tbo=...

Although grass is the predominant type of plants, other kind of plants are used too: http://www.google.no/search?q=gr%C3%B8nne+tak&hl=no&client=firefox-a&hs=...

Here is my version:

Trond Rogaland, Norway - with cool, often rainy summers  (29C max) and mild, often rainy winters (180 cm/year)!

Tim Ingram
Title: Member
Joined: 2011-04-27

It's great how this Forum stimulates new ideas. This brick shed in our garden has been enveloped in wisteria and covered by the neighbour's leyland cypress for years and needs renovation! We were simply going to re-roof it, but now it's obvious that we should plant it as a 'green roof', even if on slightly smaller a scale than discussed earlier. It won't be able to carry the weight of Trond's cabin (!) and tallish, drought tolerant species would be necessary to show up well - grasses, irises, maybe annuals like Omphalodes linifolia. Will be an interesting project and I am very grateful that this thread got started.

Dr. Timothy John Ingram Faversham, Kent, UK I garden in a relatively hot and dry region (for the UK!), with an annual rainfall of around 25", winter lows of -10°C and summer highs of 30°C.  

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