This study focuses on describing the ability of a small-scale, subsurface-flow-polyculture-constructed wetland (PCW) to treat boron (B) mine effluent from the world's largest borax mine (Kirka, Turkey) under field conditions. This application is among the first effluent treatment methods of this type in both Turkey and the world. This study represents an important resource on how subsurface-flow-constructed wetlands could be used to treat B mine effluents in the field conditions. To this end, an experimental wetland was vegetated with common reed (Phragmites australis) and cattails (Typha latifolia), and mine effluent was moved through the wetland. The results of the present study show that B concentrations of the mine effluent decreased from 187 to 123 mg l(-1) (32% removal rate) on average. The T. latifolia individuals absorbed a total of 250 mg kg(-1) whereas P. australis in the PCW absorbed a total of 38 mg kg(-1) B during the research period. (c) 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.