Learn which plants thrive in your Hardiness Zone with our new interactive map!

Which Are the Most Water-Hungry Plants?

By Carla Locke ; Updated September 21, 2017
The bald cypress is a tree that grows in the water.
cypress swamp image by William Knapp from <a href='http://www.fotolia.com'>Fotolia.com</a>

Although all plants need water to live, some plants need more than others. Some plants thrive in standing water, while other plants cannot tolerate wet feet. In those plants, wet feet causes root rot and low oxygen levels in the soil. However, the plants that thrive in these conditions come in many different forms.

Water-Tolerant Trees

The willow (Salix) tree is one of the most well-known water-hungry trees. These trees are often found growing in floodplains, along streams and anywhere there is moist soil. This large tree grows up to 100 feet tall. The bald cypress (Taxodium distichum) grows next to waterways and in swamps and can live up to 600 years. This tree is known for its odd trunk shapes, and is often used to make art and furniture.

Water-Tolerant Grasses

River oats (Chasmanthium latifolium), also known as spangle grass, grow in wetlands and stream banks. The flowers of this grass are striking because they grow in clusters of V-shaped pairs that dangle. In contrast, Indiangrass (Sorghastrum nutans) grows on the prairies in moderate to wet sandy soil. This grass is planted along roads to control erosion.

Water-Tolerant Perennials

Climbing aster (Aster carolinianus) grows in swamps and riverbanks. The flowers are light purple and plentiful. Swamp sunflower (Helianthus angustifolius) grows in very moist soils, especially clay. This plant grows to 6 feet tall and has many bright yellow flowers. Although this sunflower prefers full sun, it will grow in part sun.


About the Author


Carla Locke is based in Oberlin, Ohio, and has been writing since 1998. Her writing career began in technical writing and has expanded into Web content. Her education includes a Bachelor of Science in biology and an Associate of Applied Business in e-business technology.