Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Green Roof Plants - How Do I Choose? Quick Tip #7 Look Up!!!

Boston Fern, Nephrolepis spp.
I shot these photos on a walk the other day.  The show plants growing in gutters and out of crevices in other plants.

Why is this important?

Because it allows the green roof designer an insight into what plant species readily and successfully grow in the area without additional irrigation or fertilization.

Pine, Pinus spp.

Catbrier, Smilax spp.

Asparagus fern, Asparagus spp.
You may or may not choose to use one or all of the plants you see growing in gutters or on the roofs of buildings in your area.

You may though find surprises in the plants growing across the asphalt and concrete canvas framing your city.

The plants photographed here include;

  • Catbrier, Smilax spp.
  • Pine, Pinus spp.
  • Boston Fern, Nephrolepis spp.
  • Asparagus fern (an invasive species here in Florida), Asparagus densiflorus
  • Several grasses and ferns and others
Always keep your eye open for plants growing atop buildings!

As always, email us with your questions and comments.

Happy Green Roofing!


1 comment:

John Shepley said...

Hmmmm Looking up is a good idea! I like it. After all, isn't mother nature the best guide in all things.... um, natural?

But perhaps a word of caution is in order too. Consider nature's intention for the plants you see, as well as the natural surroundings of the roof. I have several sugar maple seedlings growing from a gutter at the SW corner of my house - quite amazing in that they've been there a year! (Gotta get on that gutter cleaning thing!)

But would I really want a sugar maple growing on an extensive green roof? Probably not.

Likewise, perhaps mosses growing in a shady corner of one roof aren't a great choice for a full-sun area. Epiphytes can grow to weigh tons within a greenroof's lifetime! And what grows rapidly in a wet season may not be reliable in a typical dry season.

So yes! By all means let your observations guide you and inform you of new ideas. But consider all the factors before acting on that initial guidance!