This article by Dr. Cathy Neal, University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension, delves into the specifics of using native plants in bioretention.
Modern storm water management systems rely on vegetation to hold the soil, filter contaminants, absorb nutrients, intercept and transpire water, and support healthy and diverse soil biology. Engineers are only beginning to appreciate the contribution that landscapers can make to help green infrastructure survive and thrive. Selecting appropriate plants for bio filters, bioswales, rain gardens and other vegetated storm water management systems are a critical first step to their success. But remember that plant selection only goes so far; though not discussed here, for long-term success, a maintenance plan must be implemented. Cathy specifically recommends layering the plantings to provide additional leaf area density for higher transpiration rates. (2014) Ecological Landscaping Association (ELA) March Newsletter.