Bioretention Plants – Core Species

Plants are an integral part of the function of a bioretention system. Core Species are those that have the characteristics to maximise pollutant removal. The list below was first published as part of the WbD 2014 Bioretention Technical Design Guideline.

Region Key: Wet Tropics (WT), Dry Tropics (DT), Subtropics (ST), Arid Zones (A), All Regions (ALL)

All photography for this page has been kindly provided by Glenn Leiper [except where indicated].

ID Core Species Common Name Type Region
1 Carex appressa                     [C. Pester] Tall Sedge groundcover sedge ST, WT                           [G.Browning]
2 Ficinia nodosa                 [G.Browning] Knobby club-sedge                   [C. Pester] groundcover sedge ST
3 Imperata cylindrica Blady grass                       [P.Dubowski] groundcover grass                [G.Browning] ALL                                                  [G.Browning]
4 Lepidosperma laterale Variable sword-sedge groundcover sedge ALL
5 Lomandra hystrix River mat-rush groundcover herb ST, DT, WT
6 Lomandra longifolia                   [C. Pester] Spiny-headed mat-rush groundcover herb ALL
7 Lomandra leucocephala Woolly Mat-Rush groundcover herb DT, A
8 Pennisetum alopecuriodes  [G.Browning] Swamp foxtail grass groundcover grass                [G.Browning] ST
9 Poa labillardieri Common tussock grass groundcover grass ST*, A
10 Themeda triandra (syn. T. australis) [C.Pester] Kangaroo grass groundcover grass                   [G.Browning] ALL
11 Melaleuca (Callistemon) sieberi River bottlebrush shrub ST
12 Leptospermum liversidgei Olive tea-tree shrub ST
13 Melaleuca thymifolia           [P.Dubowski] Thyme honey myrtle shrub ST, DT
14 Banksia robur Swamp banksia small tree                                [G.Browning] ST, DT, WT
15 Melaleuca linariifolia Flax-leaved paperbark small tree ST
16 Melaleuca viridiflora Broad leaved tea-tree small tree ST, WT, DT
17 Casuarina glauca Swamp oak tree ST, WT, DT
18 Casuarina cunninghamiana River sheoak tree ST
19 Lophostemon suaveolens Swamp Mahogany tree ST, WT, DT
20 Melaleuca bracteata Black tea-tree tree ST, WT, DT
21 Melaleuca quinquenervia Broad-leaved paper bark tree ST, WT, DT


Supplementary species

Supplementary species are those that are likely to grow reasonably well in bioretention systems but may not be as effective at pollutant removal and/or are untested.

ID Supplementary Species Common Name Type Region
100 Cymbopogon refractus Barbed wire grass groundcover grass DT, WT, ST
101 Fimbristylis dichotoma Common fringe sedge groundcover sedge ALL
102 Fimbristylis ferruginea Rusty fringe sedge groundcover sedge ALL
103 Fimbristylis tristachya groundcover sedge DT, WT, ST
104 Fuirena umbellata groundcover sedge DT, WT, ST
105 Gahnia aspera Saw sedge groundcover sedge ST, DT, WT
106 Gahnia seiberiana Red-fruit saw-sedge groundcover sedge            [G.Browning] ST, WT, DT
107 Juncus polyanthemus Striated rush groundcover sedge DT, WT, ST
108 Juncus usitatus                            [C.Pester] Common rush                          [G.Browning] groundcover sedge           [P.Dubowski] DT, WT, ST
109 Lomandra confertifolia Dwarf mat rush groundcover sedge ST
110 Rhynchospora corymbosa Matamat groundcover sedge ALL
111 Scleria polycarpa Many-fruited sedge grass groundcover sedge DT, WT
112 Aidia racemosa Archer Cherry shrub DT, WT
113 Alphitonia excelsa Red ash shrub ALL
114 Atractocarpus fitzalanii Native Gardenia shrub DT, WT
115 Austromyrtus dulcis Midgen berry shrub ST
116 Breynia oblongifolia False coffee bush shrub ALL
117 Cordyline manners-suttoniae Giant palm lily shrub ST, WT
118 Hibiscus heterophyllus Native rosella shrub DT, WT, ST
119 Leptospermum polygalifolium Wild May shrub DT, WT, ST
120 Melastoma malabathricum Blue tongue shrub ST, WT
121 Myoporum acuminatum Coastal boobialla shrub ALL
122 Xanthorrhoea fulva Swamp grass tree shrub ST
123 Albizia canescens Townsville siris tree DT, WT
124 Casuarina equisetifolia Coast She Oak tree DT, WT, ST
125 Buckinghamia celsissima Ivory curl flower tree DT, WT
126 Callistemon(Melaleuca) viminalis Weeping bottle brush tree ALL
127 Chionanthus ramiflora Native olive tree DT, WT, ST
128 Colubrina asiatica Latherleaf tree DT, WT
129 Corymbia tesselaris Moreton Bay Ash tree DT, WT, ST
130 Cupaniopsis anacardioides Beach tuckeroo tree DT, WT, ST
131 Eucalyptus raveretiana Black ironbox tree DT
132 Eucalyptus tereticornis River blue gum tree DT, WT, ST
133 Eugenia reinwardtiana Cedar Bay cherry tree DT, WT, ST
134 Ganophyllum falcatum Scaly ash tree DT, WT
135 Livistona decora Weeping Cabbage Palm tree DT, ST
136 Lophostemon grandiflorus Northern Swamp Box tree DT, WT
137 Melaleuca dealbata Blue leaved paperbark tree DT, WT, ST
138 Melaleuca fluviatilis Weeping Tea Tree tree DT, WT
139 Melaleuca leucadendra Weeping Tea Tree tree DT, WT
140 Mimusops elengi Red Coondoo, Tanjong Tree tree DT, WT
141 Waterhousea floribunda Weeping Lily-pily tree ST
142 Bothriochloa pertusa Indian couch turf** DT, ST
143 Paspalum distichum Water couch turf** DT, ST
144 Paspalum vaginatum Salt water couch turf** DT, ST, WT
145 Sporobolus virginicus Marine Couch turf** DT, WT, ST
146 Zoysia macrantha Zoysia turf** ST


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