Return to the Professional Gardener Forum | Post a Follow-Up

Plants for traffic islands?

Posted by gardeningfireman 5-NEOhio (My Page) on
Sat, Mar 8, 08 at 20:53

The village I live in has an intersection with four "islands" in it. They are in full sun, have decent topsoil, and get very dry. What would the best plants be to plant in them? They would not get supplemental watering after getting established, and cannot be so tall as to obstruct drivers' line of sight. Thanks!

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Plants for traffic islands?

  • Posted by bboy z8 WA USA (My Page) on
    Sat, Mar 8, 08 at 22:33

First check to see if your municipality regulates this activity. Seattle, for instance, has height restrictions and other rules.

RE: Plants for traffic islands?

I would be planting the islands for the village. I need plant options to present them in my proposal. Height limitation is about 36 inches, so as not to obstruct the view of drivers.

RE: Plants for traffic islands?

The city of Chicago has successfully populated many a median strip with the following plants:

At the top of the list: Prairie Dropseed - Sporobolus heterolepsis

New England Aster 'Purple Dome' - Aster Novae-anglae
Prairie Sundrops - Oenothera fruticosa
Wild Petunia - Ruellia humilis
Nodding Onion - Allium cernuum
Orange Coneflower - Rudbeckia fulgida (note: you want the straight species as the cultivar 'goldstrum' is prone to botrytis and should be avoided)

RE: Plants for traffic islands?

Traffic medians around here go with yuccas, short ornamental grasses, stella d'oro daylilies, russian sage (you'd need one of the short varieties), black-eyed susans, sometimes knock-out roses.

RE: Plants for traffic islands?

  • Posted by laag z6CapeCod (My Page) on
    Wed, Mar 12, 08 at 22:43

Some things that come to mind are:

Function: are they for shade, screening, iconic, aesthetic, pedestrian control, vehicular navigation icon, drainage control, erosion control?

Safety: consider sight lines, physical nature of the plant, proximity to other activities and people, concealing bad actors.

Structural Durability: woody plants break when loaded or impacted, grasses and herbaceous perenials rejuvenate, what is present if there is a snow load.

Situational durability: polution, dog visits, compaction of soil, wind, light, road salt

Maintenance: water, fert, size, shape, catching trash, removing debris.

When you get through defining the criteria, plant selection should be a good attempt to address those equitably based on how you weight those values.

RE: Plants for traffic islands?

coreopsis early sunrise. Blooms forever, likes dry and short. Hardy and attracts butterflies, which people like too.

 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!

Return to the Professional Gardener Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Please review our Rules of Play before posting.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.

Learn more about in-text links on this page here