Plant selection and establishment are critical components for green roof health and success. Plant palettes (sets of plant species selected for specific conditions) for green roofs vary in their ability to confer benefits depending on the species make-up and their adaptation to particular environments and climates. The response of various species to climatic factors on rooftops is unknown for the Ozark Highlands region. The objective of this study was to compare plant survival and spread in three growing medium treatments (course and fine texture with compost and fine texture with no compost) installed as part of a green roof system. The study was performed on a green roof system at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville over 3 years. Data were collected on 13 species installed in September of 2006 and surveyed on three dates thereafter: April 30, 2007; May 19, 2009; September 10, 2009. The treatments with added compost had statistically greater vegetated cover (from 73 to 87%) compared to the fine medium without compost (36 to 43%). In most cases the spread of individual plants was not significantly different between treatments. Results indicated that rooting medium containing compost increased survival and overall vegetated roof coverage, and identified various potential green roof plant species for the Ozark Highland environment. Two species, Sedum middendorffianum var. diffusum and Sedum spurium ‘Roseum’, did particularly well in all treatments. One species, Sedum kamtschaticum, did well only in the treatments with compost.

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Author notes


Department of Crop, Soil, and Environmental Sciences, University of Arkansas, 115 Plant Sciences, Fayetteville, AR 72701, 479.445.8929, tolandchannon@gmail.com, cwest@uark.edu


Department of Landscape Architecture, University of Arkansas, 230 Memorial Hall, Fayetteville, AR 72701, 479.575.7077 phone, 479.575.8738 fax, mboyer@uark.edu, corresponding author