Constructed wetlands within the City of Salisbury have contributed significantly to the biodiversity of the region. More than 97 native plant species have been planted throughout the wetlands while a further 17 native plant species have naturally established themselves. Most of these plant species originate from the northern Adelaide plains.
Six plant species that can be found in the wetlands are threatened species protected under state legislation. These are:
- Barren Cane-grass (Eragrostis infecunda) rated Rare for SA
- Creeping Boobialla (Myoporum parvifolium) rated Rare for SA
- Five-spine Bindyi (Sclerolaena muricata var. villosa) rated Rare for SA
- Hoary Rush (Juncus radula) rated Vulnerable for SA
- Purple Loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria) rated Rare for SA
- Upright Milfoil (Myriophyllum crispatum) rated Vulnerable for SA.
Generally more plant species occur in the large wetlands.
Many of the smaller suburban wetlands dry out during summer, limiting the native plant species to those which cope with alternating wetting and drying cycles.
More recently built wetlands such as those in Springbank Waters in Burton have sections retaining surface water all year round. This allows many drought-intolerant reeds, rushes, sedges and herb species to survive and thrive all year round.
Larger wetlands have been landscaped to simulate natural shrub lands or woodlands. Greenfields Wetlands and the Paddocks Wetlands are planted with a Swamp Paper-bark (Melaleuca halmaturorum) Shrubland while Kaurna Park Wetland, the Little Para Estuary Wetland and Whites Road Wetland have River Redgum (Eucalyptus camaldulensis) woodlands over an extensive floodplain covered with rushes, sedges and native grasses.
Australian Native Plant Society: http://asgap.org.au/