Residents are encouraged to consider planting species that are native to Unley in their gardens to help to preserve wildlife and rebuild important natural relationships that existed in the bush land of the original Black Forest.
Locally indigenous plants are easy to establish as they have already adapted to the local soil, rainfall and temperature. They are also easy to maintain as they require little pruning or fertilising. Importantly, local indigenous plants require very little watering once established.
'Kertaweeta' - The Black Forest
The area known by Kaurna as Kertaweeta (scrub with reeds) extended from the eastern foothill suburbs of Burnside, Erindale, Beaumont, Glen Osmond, south-west through to Urrbrae, Malvern, Mitcham, Unley, Goodwood, Wayville, South Adelaide, Black Forest, Hyde Park, Clarence Park, Plympton, Edwardstown, St Marys and the River Sturt near Marion.
The name 'Black Forest' is reputed to have been given as a result of the dark coloured tree bark and thick dark green foliage.
The Urban Forest Biodiversity Program reports that grazing, agriculture, horticulture, residential development and industry have progressively all but replaced the unique flora and fauna of the Adelaide Plains. Less than 2% of the original habitat is left intact and remaining native plants and animals are finding it increasingly difficult to survive.
Individual trees from the original Black Forest still exist within the City of Unley but only one remaining strand of grey-box woodland can be found in Heywood Park at Northgate Street, Unley Park.
Information for this article has been sourced from a book by local Millswood resident, Darrell Kraehenbuehl 'Pre-European Vegetation of Adelaide: A Survey from the Gawler River to Hallett Cove' (1996).