The Green Roof Evolves: asla plant Monitoring Over the Years




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The Green Roof Evolves: ASLA Plant Monitoring Over the Years
The ASLA green roof is quite unique in its plant palate due to its differences in growing media depths, which range from three inches on the terrace level (sedum under the grates) to the elevator shaft, which has 21 inches and holds the trumpet vine (Campsis radicans) and flame sumacs (Rhus copallina).
As of spring 2015, the ASLA green roof began its tenth growing season. With that has come significant changes to the plants currently growing on the roof. For example, the staircase incorporated into the project in 2006 with 12 inches of growing media installed above it has fragrant sumacs (Rhus aromatic) that have grown quite significantly. On the other hand, while their growth has been outstanding, the pasture roses (Rosa Carolina) have been all but sacrificed. The sumacs have grown so thick that entering the area above via the service ladder is almost impossible without trimming them first.
It should be noted that the ASLA green roof "waves" both have had two additional plantings of various sedums on both sides. Outside plants are no longer accepted due to the possibility of the weeds being introduced. Any bare spots, which there are few, are filled with existing plants that are currently growing robustly on the roof. Below is an in-depth report of the plant growth, by area, of the green roof.
Please use this link to click on the photos and captions of the plants as they appear on the green roof.

South Wave

Part of the extensive roof with 4 ½” of growing media: Good plant coverage though mainly from sedum and the prickly pear cactus (Opuntia humifusa) with only few of the original plants remaining. Weed intensity is relatively low and it has been noted that thick-leaf sedum does a much better job of preventing weed growth as opposed to Lance-leaved stone crop (Sedum lanceolatum), for example, which has a thinner leaf. Due to the south wave being covered almost completely by sedum and cactus, the manual sprinkler is no longer used on that side and it looks fantastic! The cactus blooms only two weeks per season and the peak blooms are around the first week of June.


Plants:

Asclepias tuberosa seed pods from North Wave, only one plant in spring/summer 2014

Opuntia humifusa
Phedimus takesimensis ‘
Golden Carpet’

Phlox subulata – only a few remain

Silene caroliniana – benefits from shade of Opuntia, still only a few remain

Sedum aizoon ‘Euphorbioides’

Sedum album

Sedum kamtschaticum

Sedum kamtschaticum v. floriferum ‘Weihenstephaner Gold’

Sedum reflexumonly a little remaining, benefits from shade of Opuntia

Sedum sexangulare

Sedum spurium ‘Album Superbum’

Sedum spurium ‘Fuldaglut’

Sedum spurium ‘Roseum’

Talinum calycinum
Weeds:

Euphorbia maculata

Juniperus virginiana

Oxalis sp.

Rhus copallina - Seedlings from upper beds

Taraxacum officinale

Trifolium arvense

North Wave

Semi-intensive roof with 6” of media and still using manual irrigation from the drip irrigation system that is installed on the intensive portion of the green roof—the staircase and elevator shaft. More original plants remaining than on the south wave, though sedum, which now comprises about 50 percent of the north wave, are also filling gaps left by other failed plants. The black-eyed Susans (Rudbeckia hirta) are very few in number as was the Schizachryium. There is a relatively high intensity of weeds which may be in part due to the additional water and also due to the increased difficulty of weeding this area from the presence of taller plants.


Plants:

Achillea millefolium (Yarrow--still existing and doing well)

Allium cernuum

Allium schoenoprasum

Artemisia ludoviciana

Asclepias tuberosa (Butterfly milkweed--still prevalent)

Campsis radicans ‘Madame Galans’

Coreopsis verticillata

Elymus virginicus

Eragrostis spectabilis

Rudbeckia hirta

Sedum album

Sedum kamtschaticum

Sedum kamtschaticum v. floriferum ‘Weihenstephaner Gold’

Sedum reflexummainly in shade areas

Sedum spurium ‘Album Superbum’

Sedum spurium ‘Roseum’

Sedum sexangulare

Talinum calycinum

Tradescantia sp.

Schizachryium scoparium – only one remaining

Solidago nemoralis
Weeds:

Euphorbia maculata

Rhus copallina - Seedlings from upper beds

Trifolium arvense

Under Walkways (grating areas)

Extensive green roof with grate above for walkway: Succulents are very healthy and diverse in this area, most likely aided by slight shade provided by the walkway throughout the day. This is also true for retaining moisture longer within the plants as the sun is not constantly shining directly on the plants throughout the day. The grasses that have seeded in should probably be treated as weeds here. Weed intensity is lower in this area due to density of succulents.


Plants:

Artemisia ludoviciana

Allium schoenoprasum

Delosperma nubigenum

Eragrostis spectabilis

Rudbeckia hirta – seeded in, not as prominent as when first planted

Phedimus takesimensis ‘Golden Carpet’

Sedum album

Sedum kamtschaticum

Sedum kamtschaticum v. floriferum ‘Weihenstephaner Gold’

Sedum reflexum – mainly in shade areas

Sedum spurium ‘Fuldaglut’

Sedum sexangulare

Talinum calycinum
Weeds:

Betula sp.

Euphorbia maculata

Juniperus virginiana

Latuca sp.

Oxalis sp.

Rhus copallina - Seedlings from upper beds

Taraxacum officinale

Trifolium arvense

Behind North Wave (near air conditioner)

Extensive green roof with additional moisture and shade from air conditioner and other structures: The black-eyed Susans benefits greatly in this area from additional shade and moisture. The difference in conditions also leads to a different distribution of weeds from other areas.


Plants:

Campsis radicans ‘Madame Galans’

Delosperma nubigenum

Phedimus takesimensis ‘Golden Carpet’

Rudbeckia hirta- benefit from extra shade and moisture

Sedum kamtschaticum v. floriferum ‘Weihenstephaner Gold’

Sedum reflexum – mainly in shade areas

Sedum sexangulare – very small amounts

Sedum spurium ‘Album Superbum’

Sedum spurium ‘Roseum’

Talinum calycinum
Weeds:

Betula sp.

Conyza canadensis

Digitaria sanguinalis

Euphorbia maculata

Juniperus virginiana

Latuca sp.

Mimosa sp.

Oxalis sp.

Senecio vulgaris

Trifolium arvense

Trifolium repens

Clover!
Behind South Wave

Extensive green roof; terrace level, three inches of growing media. Plants sparser in this area with Sedum album preferring the rocky edges to the intended planting area and only succulents remaining. It should be noted that since the grating has done so wonderfully for the sedum under them, discussions have been to extend the grating throughout this area. Not only would it offer the additional shading, it would provide more walking surface for guests while still maintaining robust plants.


Plants:

Sedum album – mostly in gravel edges.

Sedum kamtschaticum

Sedum kamtschaticum v. floriferum ‘Weihenstephaner Gold’

Sedum reflexum

Sedum sexangulare

Sedum spurium ‘Album Superbum’

Sedum spurium ‘Roseum’

Talinum calycinum
Weeds:

Conyza canadensis

Digitaria sanguinalis

Euphorbia maculata

Juniperus virginiana

Latuca sp.

Medicago lupulina

Oxalis sp.

Senecio vulgaris.

Taraxacum officinale

Trifolium arvense

Trifolium repens

Intensive upper area

Intensive green roof planted with shrubs above the staircase as mentioned. This area was not observed as closely as other areas but several fragrant sumac shrubs are growing well and the drip irrigation system must be turned on at the beginning of the season and run several times a week when the temperatures are the hottest. The growing season on the green roof ends in September.


Plants:

Rhus aromatica

Rhus copallina

Campsis radicans ‘Madame Galans’

Rosa carolina


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