Image: Bill Higham
Community type

Succulent herbland

Habitat type

Saltmarsh and tidal flats

A range of wilsonia species occur in Tasmanian saltmarshes. In the Derwent estuary the most common is narrowleaf wilsonia (Wilsonia backousei), while silky wilsonia (Wilsonia humilis), and round-leafed wilsonia (Wilsonia rotundifolia) are both listed as rare in Tasmania. Much like glassworts and pigface, wilsonia form a dense carpet-like groundcover. They have narrow, fleshy leaves and bear small white flowers in late spring and summer. The flowers of the common narrowleaf wilsonia are thin elongated corollas, or tubes which look like little trumpets. Upon close inspection small beetles and ants can be seen feeding on the pollen from these flowers. Invasion of the woody weed African boxthorn is quite detrimental to the health of the wilsonia populations.

Much of the text within the species area of our website was written by Veronica Thorpe, as part of the Derwent River Wildlife Guide (2000).

The DEP has developed a variety of classroom and outdoor activities focused around the key estuary habitats of tidal wetlands, salt marshes and rocky reefs. These include classroom materials, online resources, interpretive walks, games and sensory experiences.