The publication "Plants at the Central Library" is an extensive guide to the plantings at the Central Library (call number 635.96709 P694). It is available in the Business, Social Sciences, Science & Technology Department on Level 7 and also in the Seattle Room on Level 10. The following is an overview of the plants that can be seen at this Library.
The exterior landscape at the Central Library was designed to be environmentally friendly, requiring little maintenance. Approximately a quarter of the plants are drought-tolerant. A water-efficient drip irrigation system was installed and, when possible, water comes from an on-site 38,500-gallon rainwater collection tank.
Eighteen types of trees are on the grounds around the building. They include sweet gum, birch, magnolia, oak, maple, and tulip trees. Two trees (a deodar cedar and a Japanese maple) were salvaged from the grounds of the old building and replanted near the fountain on Fourth Avenue.
Plantings in the exterior beds include:
- Grasses: sweet flag (Acorus), autumn moor grass (Sesleria), purple moor grass (Molinia), golden variegated Japanese forest grass (Hakonechloa), tufted hair grass (Deschampsia), Magellan wheatgrass (Elymus), fescue (Festuca), and sedges (Carex and Uncinia).
- Ferns: maidenhair fern (Adiantum), deer fern (Blechnum), and autumn fern (Dryopteris), and sword fern (Polystichum).
- Flowering perennials: gayfeather, hosta, Siberian iris, and spiderwort.
The species in the Level 3 planter include: crocodile fern (Microsorium), bird's nest fern (Asplenium), and philodendron.
Carpets: The carpets are intensely colored patterns of plant forms.