Green Roof Plant # 9 - GRAPTOPETALUM spp. (to most of us a Sedum(?))...
Again, the basic principles each green roof plant possesses include:
* Drought tolerant
* Hardy against inundation and flooding
* Possesses qualities of either food, fiber or medicinal traits
* Social benefit from beauty
* Non-invasive or pest qualities
* Native species to region
* Provides food, forage or communal habitat to wildlife
* Cleans stormwater
* Good plant for sequestering Carbon
Choosing the right green roof plants can sometimes be a challenge for even the most experienced green roof designer - as we commented yesterday - and the day before.
|Green Roof Plants - GRAPTOPETALUM spp. Mexican Ghost Plant|
As a biology major in college - with a focus in plants, I find myself still awed at the massive amount of information about plants that I still need to learn and grasp. Much information is available about plants and their habitat requirements.
The more I learn about plants suitable for green roofs, the more I know I need to learn more.
I started this morning by looking for the Genus and species name of the Mexican Ghost Plant, a succulent growing well on many green roofs here in North Florida.
Common names are confusing - there may be many species with the common name Mexican Ghost Plant.
Not only did I have a hard time identifying the particular species, but I also encountered difficulty in identifying the Genus and even the Family - a very frustrating exercise!
However, the plant I want to talk about is a great plant for green roofs in areas with extended periods of drought yet also experience long periods of rain and inundation.
So, for the Mexican Ghost Plant we will call its family - CRASSULACEAE and we will call its Genus GRAPTOPETALUM and we will not try and identify the species.
However, the Mexican Ghost Plant is more than just a pretty green roof plant!
According to Wikipedia - the Mexican Ghost Plant has medicinal uses - traditionally a liver and kidney support plant, and has culinary uses also - served on salad bars in some restaurants (click here for a new window with the Wikipedia information).
Although the species name listed in the above Wikipedia link is 'paraguayense' the plant is from Mexico and not Paraguay according to some.
For the Green Roof, this plant is relatively cold hardy. I've seen Mexican Ghost plant survive long periods of sub-twenty degrees F temperatures. I have seen Mexican Ghost plant survive extremely long periods of drought, and grow in minimal amounts of soil - not only grow but prosper!
Another great internet resource on the GRAPTOPETALUM is the International Crassulaceae Network's website. Click here for access.
Mexican Ghost Plant survives Florida's hot and humid summertime. Make sure it has very well drained soil. Finally, note the dew on the photographed plant above. Don't forget to install dew catchers on your green roof.
When designing a green roof in Florida and other areas with a similar climate, you would be wise to include groupings of the Mexican Ghost plant.
Again, we will be discussing more species over the next few days.
Feel free to add your comments or email us with your questions here.
Happy green roofing.