Native Green Roof Plants

In a 2012 paper, Butler released a paper titled ” Native plant enthusiasm reaches new heights: Perceptions, evidence and the future of green roofs”, which revealed that landscape architects and architects most frequently published pro-native plant papers.  She also revealed that the rational for using native plants was frequently omitted from these published papers and that many of the papers comparing Sedums to native plants showed native plants to perform very poorly; however, one researcher, Jeremy Lunholm was the exception to the rule.

Lundholm uses the habitat template approach, whereby plants selected for green roofs are from ecosystems that are similar to the green roof environment such as coastal barrens where soils are nutrient poor and subject to frequent drought.  Under the direction of Matt Palmer (Columbia University) and in partnership with NYC Parks and Recreation the habitat template approach was used to select two local plant communities, Rocky Summit Grassland (located on the balds of local mountains) and Hempstead Plains (located on long island), which both have nutrient poor soils and frequent drought.  A city wide project is now underway assessing which plants from these communities are most well suited to the green roof environment.  Below, you can see they are performing well!

Butler, C., E. Butler and C.M. Orians. 2012. Native plant enthusiasm reaches new heights: Perceptions, evidence and the future of green roofs. Urban Forestry and Urban Greening 11: 1-10.

Lundholm, J.T. 2006. Green roofs and facades: a habitat template approach. Urban Habitats 4:87-101


One response to this post.

  1. Just what really motivated you to publish “Native Green Roof Plants
    Fordham Urban Sustainability and Ecosystems –
    FUSE”? I actuallytruly loved the blog post! Thanks for the post -Graig


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