Likely situations for puccinellia


1.     Salinity and waterlogging
Puccinellia is only recommended in the moderate rainfall zones (> 400mm) across southern Australia, not because of the rainfall per se, but because it is only at these higher rainfall levels that the combination of waterlogging and salinity most suited to puccinellia is likely to occur. Puccinellia is relatively non-competitive outside of those conditions.

Puccinellia can withstand extreme surface soil salinities in summer (ECe values of up to 50 dS/m) because though a perennial, it dries off over summer.

Most likely situations for puccinellia

Subsoil salinity/ depth to watertable matrix





Drivers of puccinellia zonation

  • A halophyte and so does best with some salinity;
  • Very tolerant of waterlogging and can survive significant periods of winter inundation;
  • Winter grower, so cold-tolerant
  • Acts like an annual by ‘dieing off’ over summer to avoid the highest salinity levels
  • Rainfall 400+ mm


Key to symbols

red dot

This is the zone most preferred by saltbush and where it is highly recommended;

Small Dot

Saltbush is one of the possible options for this zone but it is outside its preferred conditions

2.     Climate and soils
Though it will tolerate a fairly wide range of soil pH values, puccinellia is particularly suited to alkaline soils where it seems to have a much stronger competitive ability. Puccinellia is the dominant saltland pasture species in the Upper Southeast of SA where limestone soils (high pH) predominate.

3.     Indicator species
Common indicators for the puccinellia zone are sea barleygrass, samphire and curly ryegrass, and there will often be patchy scalding across the site.

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