Pond, Greywater and Swamp Plants

Pond, Graywater and Swamp Plants

This section covers species which require to be constantly moist, wet or inundated.  


Alisma plantago-aquatica - Water Plantain

To 1 m tall.

Attractive, easily grown plant for bog gardens.


Baloskion tetraphyllus  - Tassel Sedge

Synonym: Restio tetraphyllus

0.5-1.5 m x 40-80 cm

Tall bright green feathery perennial tussock.

Permanently boggy sandy soils or shallow water. Full sun, semi-shade.

A graceful sedge-like plant for in or around ponds.


Carex appressa - Tall Sedge

0.5-1.2 m x 0.5-1 m

Robust dense yellow-green tussocks.

Narrow dense spike-like panicle.

Moist soil, tolerating periods of inundation. Full sun, semi-shade.

Suitable for stabilizing eroded stream banks.


Carex breviculmis - Short-stem Sedge

15-30 cm x 20-35 cm

Small, densely tufted sedge.

Very adaptable, from exposed slopes to moist depressions. Full sun, semi-shade.

Useful for borders or rockeries.


Carex brownii - Sedge

0.2-1 m high

Loose tuft, culms noded and rough above.

Seepage lines and seasonally moist clay soils. Full sun, semi-shade.

A rare sedge in  the Melbourne area.


Carex fascicularis - Tassel Sedge

0.5-1 m high

Densely tufted sedge, margins rough, leaves and culms similar sized.

Moist soil, tolerating inundation. Semi-shade.

Attractive beside a pool.


Carex gaudichaudiana - Tufted Sedge

Culms 10-90 cm high

Coarsely tufted plant with bluish foliage.

Grows in gravel or mud at the water's edge. Full sun, semi-shade.

An attractive low-growing sedge. Easily grown and controlled.

Carex incomitata - Sedge

30-90 cm high.

Pale green leaves, prefers well drained soils.

Full sun. Tolerates saline conditions.


Carex inversa - Knob Sedge

Culms 10-50 cm high

Bright green, grass-like leaves.

Moist well drained soils. Semi-shade.


Centella cordifolia - Swamp Pennywort

Prostrate x 1-2 m

Fast growing, creeping perennial herb.

Moist to we soils. Full sun, semi-shade.

Grows well around pools and in boggy areas but may become invasive.


Crassula helmsii - Swamp Stonecrop

10-30 cm x spreading

Fast growing aquatic.

Inundated or moist soils in fresh or salty water. Full sun.

An attractive rapid grower which may become invasive.


Cycnogeton procera - Water ribbon

Synonyms: Triglochin procera

Stems 20-50 cm high

Freshwater to 2 m deep or areas subject to regular inundation. Full sun, semi-shade.

An attractive plant for water gardens with erect or floating ribbon-like leaves.


Eleocharis acuta - Common Spike-rush

30-60 cm high

Upright aquatic herb.

Full sun. Easy to establish in a dam or heavy damp soils but may spread rapidly in shallow water.


Eryngium vesiculosum - Prickfoot

10-20 cm x 30-60 cm

Bright green leaves with toothed edges.

Moist soil, tolerating seasonally wet conditions. Full sun, semi-shade.

Interesting plant for a bog garden or container.


Ficinia nodosa - Knobby Club Rush

Synonym: Isolepis nodosa

0.15-1 m x 0.6-2 m

Tall, coarse, wiry densely tufted rush, flowers are brown spikelets.

Moist sandy, alluvial and basalt soils, tolerating dry periods once established. Full sun, semi-shade.

Upright habitat and round flowerheads provide interest as a contrast plant.

Gahnia radula - Thatch Saw-sedge

0.5-1.5 m x Spreading

Tufted sedge. Narrow erect, loosely-arranged chestnut brown panicles.

Moist soils, tolerating dryness once established. Full sun, semi-shade.

Useful for controlling soil erosion. 


Gahnia sieberiana - Red-fruited Saw-sedge

1.5-3 m x 2-3 m

Large tussock, moist soils, food for butterfly larvae.

Moist alluvial or sandy soils. Tolerates drier soils once established. Full sun to full shade.

Food plant for the Sword-grass brown butterfly.


Goodenia elongata - Lanky Goodenia

20-50 cm x 0.5-1.5 m

Narrow erect perennial herb. Solitary yellow flowers on long stalks.

Damp soil, tolerating waterlogging. Semi-shade.

Pruning after flowering is beneficial. 


Goodenia humilis - Swamp Goodenia

5-10 cm x 0.5-1.5 m

Profuse terminal sprays of yellow flowers.

Moist to wet soil. Full sun.

A very adaptable suckering, matting plant. 


Gratiola pubescens - Brooklime

Prostrate - 20 cm x 0.6-1.5 m

Pale pink flowers with a yellow throat.

Damp areas which dry out in summer or permanently swampy soil. Full sun to full shade.

Locally rare due to drainage of habitat.


Isotoma fluviatilis - Swamp Isotome

Prostrate x 1 m

Small blue flowers, dense matting plant.

Mpoist to seasonallyh wet conditions. Full sun, semi-shade.

An excellent self-layering ground cover for damp areas and poolside plantings.


Juncus amabilis - Gentle Rush

0.2-1.2 m x 20-50 cm

Leaves are dark brown basal sheaths, light brown clustered flowers.

Moist open to sandy winter wet, summer dry soils. Full sun, semi-shade.


Juncus gregiflorus - Green Rush

0.5-1.7 m x 0.6-1.5 m

Bright green shining leaves, pale brown clustered flowers.

Moist to wet alluvial soil. Full sun to semi-shade.


Juncus pallidus - Pale Rush

0.5-2.2 m x 0.3-1 m

Tufted perennial rush.

Full sun, semi-shade. 

Vigorous grower adaptable to most situations, but requires periodic inundation for optimum growth.


Juncus pauciflorus - Loose-flowered Rush

0.3-1 m x 20-60 cm

Open, loose panicle of reddish flowers.

An adaptable plant tolerating some dryness once established. Semi-shade.


Juncus procerus - Tall Rush

1.5-2.5 m x 0.6-1.5 m

Tufted rush with soft, thick stems.

Damp to wet soils in sheltered situations. Semi-shade.


Juncus subsecindus - Finger Rush

20-90 cm x 0.5-1 m

Tufted rush with smooth, dull blue-green stems.

Full sun. May form large colonies in heavy, wet soils but is also successful in drier sites which are seasonally damp.


Lepidosperma elatius - Tall Sword Sedge

1-2 m x 1-2.5 m

Leaves to 10mm wide with sharp edges.

Semi-shade to full shade.

A spectacular accent plant which should not be planted near walkways due to sharpness of leaves.


Lepidosperma gunnii - Little Sword Sedge

15-45 cm x 20-60 cm

Narrow stiff leaves to 3mm wide.



Lepidosperma laterale - Variable Sword Sedge

0.4-1 m x 0.5-1.5 m

Narrow stiff leaves to 6mm wide.

Moist to dryish, fairly well drained soils. Semi-shade.


Lepidosperma longitudinale - Common Sword Sedge

0.6-2 m x 1-3 m

Soft leaves and stems with greyish-brown spikelets.

Moist or wet soils. Full sun, semi-shade.


Leptorhynchos squamatus - Scaly Buttons

15-40 cm x 40 cm

Yellow flowers held above foliage on long scaly stalks.

Well drained moist to seasonally inundated soils. Full sun, semi-shade.

Summer watering is beneficial.


Lobelia pratioides - Poison Lobelia

Prostrate - 30 cm x 0.5-1.5 m

Loosely matting, suckering, perennial herb. Single blue and white flowers on hairy stalks.

Wet soils. Semi-shade.

An attractive plant for growing in a shaded garden. Foliage is poisonous to stock.


Mazus pumilio - Swamp Mazus

3 cm x 0.5-1 m

Suckering mat plant with white or mauve flowers.

Swamp margins and drainage lines in moist to wet soil. Full sun, semi to dappled shade, full shade.

Useful in boggy areas and on pond edges. Tolerates light foot traffic. 


Mentha australis - River Mint

20-80 cm x 0.3-1 m

Clusters of small tubular white to mauve flowers, mint fragrance.

Moist to wet soils. Full sun to full shade.

Useful by ponds and near walkways. When brushed imparts a mint fragrance.


Mentha laxiflora - Forest Mint

15-50 cm x 1 m

Aromatic perennial herb with dense clusters of mauve, or rarely, white flowers.

Permanently moist soil. Semi-shade to full shade.


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Montia australasica - White Purslane

Prostrate - 3 cm x matting

Spreading perennial herb with small white flowers.

Moist to wet soils in slow-moving water or drainage lines, swamps and bogs. Full sun, semi-shade.

A pretty creeper for pond edges.


Myriophyllum crispatum - Water Milfoil

25-60 cm high

Erect perennial herb with cream to reddish-brown flowers.

Moist soil in stagnant and still water to 1 m deep and in mud. Full sun, semi-shade.

A robust plant.


Omduffia reniformis - Running Marsh Flower

Synonym: (Villarsia reniformis) 

0.4-1.3 m x 0.5-3 m

Shiny dark green kidney-shaped leaves with bright yellow flowers. 

A most attractive plant for shallow water or damp soil beside a pond. Full sun, semi-shade.

Persicaria decipiens - Slender Knotweed)

Prostrate - 0.6 m x 0.3-1 m

Aquatic to terrestrial erect to spreading perennial herb. Small bright pink flowers. 

Full sun to full shade.


Persicaria praetermiss - Spotted Knotweed

0.8-1 m x 0.6-2 m

Straggling perennial herb with pink flowers in short spikes.

Semi-shade. A useful stabiliser for edges of dams and pools. Provides habitat especially for frogs.


Ranunculus glabrifolius - Shiny Buttercup

20-3- cm x 30-70 cm

Slender herb with glossy leaves and yellow flowers.

Moist to wet soil. Full sun, semi-shade.

A very attractive buttercup for ponds and moist areas.


Schoenus tesquorum - Bog-rush

6-45 cm x 15 cm

A rare plant for moist soils. 



Triglochin striata - Streaked Arrowgrass

20-38 cm x 1-3 m

Slender, loose racemes with many tiny greenish-yellow flowers.

Moist poorly drained soils to shallow water. Full sun, semi-shade.


Xerochrysum palustre - Swamp everlasting

0.3-1 m x 0.2-1 m

Erect perennial herb, rarely branched. Single shiny golden-yellow flowerheads.

Moist to wet heavy clay soils. Full sun.

A threatened species.