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Now Playing at the Virtual Summit 2015: “Using a Climate and Ecological Template Approach for Plant Selection for Extensive Green Roofs” by Ed Snodgrass

on May 21, 2015 at 2:17 pm under

In celebration of honoring Earth Day 2015 and our planet’s ecology through healthy, regenerative design, we are highlighting each of the 23 awesome videos from our 30+ spectacular speakers from‘s Greenroofs & Walls of the World Virtual Summit 2015 ~ Connecting the Planet with Living Architecture: People, Projects & Design, running through May 31st.


Our hope is that by familiarizing you more with each presentation and its particular benefits, you will be enticed to join us during our wonderfully easy-to-navigate online Virtual Summit!  And, along with the speakers’ input, I will identify 5 Key Learning Objectives or “takeaway” bullet points that each video presentation provides to participants.


Today we are spotlighting the individual “Using a Climate and Ecological Template Approach for Plant Selection for Extensive Green Roofs” by the wonderful Ed Snodgrass, quintessential plantsman and co-owner of Emory Knoll Farms/Green Roof Plants, responsible for supplying 7,618,400 square feet of greenroof plants (and counting!).

Ed has collaborated on many excellent books, which you can all all find in our Bookstore by the way, and we’ve known him from way back – since 2002.  He was one of our keynote speakers from our inaugural Virtual Summit 2011, and you can see his video “Right Plant, Right Place” Opening Keynote Address by Ed Snodgrass on our YouTube channel here.


Ed has also been a contributing editor on since 2004 as the Plant Editor where he answers reader questions, writes very occasional articles, and features seasonal greenroof plants in “Ask Ed.”  But with all of his traveling lately, we certainly can’t criticize him too much – plus we love him dearly anyways.

You can read my 2009 “From Llamas to Greenroofs: An Interview with Ed Snodgrass” to get a glance into his life.  He’s so amiable and knowledgeable it seems like most everyone in our industry knows him!


Ed says “This talk will focus on plant selection using climate types for selection, understanding the difference between a continental and maritime climate, for example, and what that means for plant survival and maintenance.  This talk will also look at plant selection and the promise of the delivery of ecosystem services such as habitat creation or biodiversity.”


Street, MD, USA. “Edmund C. Snodgrass is president and founder of Emory Knoll Farms, Inc. and Green Roof Plants, North America’s first nursery specializing in green roof plants and horticultural consulting. Edmund has consulted on projects throughout the US and also in England, France, New Zealand, China, Australia and Morocco. Since its inception, Emory Knoll Farms has supplied plants for over 1000 green roof projects.

Edmund is the co-author of Green Roof Plants, A Planting and Resource Guide, (Timber Press, 2006), The Green Roof Manual: A Professional Guide to Design, Installation, and Maintenance (Timber Press 2010), Small Green Roofs: Low-Tech Options for Greener Living (Timber Press 2011), and The New American Landscape: Leading Voices on the Future of Sustainable Gardening (Timber Press 2011).” ~ Read his complete bio here from the VS2015.


You will benefit from these 5 Key Learning Objectives as Ed Snodgrass shares on the subject:

1) Plant selection relative to the function of the plants and the geography of the roof location.  What do we want from them, what are we asking these plants to do, and what are we asking them not to do on the harsh locations of rooftops;

2) Use not only the USDA Plant Heat Zone and Hardiness Maps but also the World Maps of Köppen-Geiger Climate Classification as they give much more data regarding rainfall and the Grimes Triangle showing the 3 ecological strategies of plants by type: Ruderals, or pioneers, which are disturbance-tolerators; Competitors, which are long term winners; and the Stress-tolerators which can live where nothing else can; 

3) Habitat examples with these attributes to visit: the alvar plains in upstate New York, Huntington Botanical Gardens in CA, pioneer thermophyllic herbaceous communities on rock outcroppings in central Europe, Lava Beds National Park in CA;

4) Plants develop different strategies depending on where they live, e.g. removal of chlorophyll, live during the good times only, size; see what’s growing on naturally occurring roofs in urban areas – examples from Morocco and China; developing cultivars for greenroofs selected especially for a particular stress;

5) How do we want plants to perform?  For example as larval sources, urban beekeeping, stormwater management, highly evapotranspirative, amelioration of atmospheric deposition.  A look at two distinct greenroofs at the University of Melbourne.  Plant specification has gone from really thinking about it to being very casual, so it’s time to reenergize some of our scrutiny.

Watch the 27:25 “Using a Climate and Ecological Template Approach for Plant Selection for Extensive Green Roofs” by Ed Snodgrass now playing at the Greenroofs & Walls of the World Virtual Summit 2015.  If you have not yet registered (only $49 or 25), please do:

Registration fee:

$49 – special discounted pricing;

$25 for students/faculty and government professionals

All Video Presentations, Q & A Transcripts, & Exhibitor Booths are On Demand +
Networking Live 24/7 through May 31, 2015

Earn CEUs including 10 GRP CEUs.  Register here.



Registration Open through May 31st for the Virtual Summit 2015

We hope you will support our work!  Please remember that these video presentations will not be made public for at least one year.

Happy watching and participating,

~ Linda V.

Learn more about these awesome video presentations and their 5 Key Learning Objectives at the Greenroofs & Walls of the World Virtual Summit 2015:

“A Green Building Should Look Green, Which Means Hairy!” by Dr. Ken Yeang.

“Biodiversity in the Sky – How Green Roofs Can Be Designed as Wild Life Refuges” by Dr. Stephan Brenneisen.

Green Roofs to New Cities” by Dr. Diana Balmori.

“A Higher Purpose – Benefits to Human Health and Education through Green Roofing” by Elizabeth Hart.

“Beyond Extensive and Intensive: Defining the Comprehensive Green Roof” by Molly Meyer.

“Biosolar Roofs” by Nathalie Baumann and Dusty Gedge.

“From Passive House to the Cold North—How Vegetative Envelope Components Impact Buildings” Panel with Dr. Bob Cameron, Dr. Allen Lee, Dr. Karen Liu, and Chris Wark.

“Greening Rooftops in Alberta: People, Place + Projects” by Kerry Ross.

“Greening the World Inside and Outside” by Mark Paul.

“Greenwalls in Middle Earth” by Graham Cleary.

“Pollinators on the Parapets” by Angie Durhman.

“Small Scale Green Roofs” by Dusty Gedge and John Little.

“Social Healing with Greening” Panel – Part 1 with Patrick Carey, Peter Ensign, and George Irwin.

“Social Healing with Greening” Panel – Part 2 with Patrick Carey and Darius Jones.

“Soil Ecological Processes on Green Roofs: Research and Observation Meet Theory and Intuition” Inspiration Nook Video by Christine Thuring.

“Stewardship of Rooftop Ecosystems” by Michael Furbish, Brad Garner, and Dr. Whitney Griffin.

“The Development of Revolutionary Large Scale Vegetated Infrastructure Projects in Latin America and the Foundation of a New Industry” by Pablo Atuesta.

“The Great Green Roof Review: Success & Succession” by Jenny Hill and Terry McGlade.

Only Two Weeks Left for the Virtual Summit 2015! See the “ 2014 Top 10 List of Hot Trends in Greenroof & Greenwall Design + a Look into 2015” by Haven Kiers & Linda Velazquez Now.

“Two Extremes in Waterwise Design from Denver, Colorado and Athens, Greece” by Andrew Clements and Karla Dakin.

“Urban and Social Needs of Green” Inspiration Nook Video by Marc Grañén.