Selecting the best plants for freshwater, marshy conditions depends on the region where the wetland is located. What works well in Virginia, may not always be best for Minnesota or California. It is also necessary to remember that marshes have inlets and outlets, which causes them to be far less acidic than bogs. Freshwater wetlands comprised of standing water. However, whether you are creating a freshwater marsh to provide habitat for waterfowl, landscaping the edges of a backyard pond or planting a rain garden, here are some perennials that do well throughout the nation both in bogs and marshes.
Also called "cowslip," the marsh marigold (caltha palustris) is not really a marigold. An early bloomer, its yellow to gold blossoms brighten marshes and backyards from early to late spring. It is cold hardy to U.S. Department of Agriculture zones 1 to 7.
Don't confuse pickerelweed (Pontederia cordata) with the salt marsh plant pickleweed (Salirconia virginica). Muskrats and puddleducks enjoy snacking on pickerelweed, which has deep purple flowers similar to those of grape hyacinth. It grows up to 3 feet tall and is cold hardy from USDA zones 4 to 11.
Butterflies are attracted to swamp milkweed (Asclepias incarnata), which has showy, rose-purple flowers and grows up to 4 feet tall. According to the University of Texas, swamp milkweed grows in 42 states, Washington D.C. and parts of Canada. It is cold hardy from USDA zones 3a to 8b.
A member of the showy hibiscus family, swamp rose mallow (Hibiscus moscheutos) has huge, pink flowers that can measure up to 12 inches wide and blossom from August through September. It grows up to 6 feet tall along the edges of streams and ponds, prefers full sun and is hardy from USDA zones 7 to 11.
Tussock sedge (Carex stricta) is a yellowish-green, grasslike plant that does well in USDA zones 4 through 8. It grows at or above water level in clumps about 2 feet tall by 2 feet wide. A tussock (little hill) develops as dead leaves build up around its base. Waterfowl including mallards and wood ducks eat its seeds.