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Lomandra longifolia

Lomandra longifolia, commonly known as Spiny-head Mat-rush[2], Spiky-headed Mat-rush[3] or Basket Grass, is a perennial, rhizomatous herb found throughout eastern Australia. The leaves are 40 cm to 80 cm in long, and generally have a leaf of about 8 mm to 12 mm wide.[4] It grows in a variety of soil types and is frost, heat and drought tolerant.[5] Labillardiere described Lomandra longifolia from a specimen collected in Tasmania.[6]

This strappy leaf plant is often used on roadside plantings in Australia, New Zealand, Spain, and the USA, due to its high level of drought tolerance. The breeding of more compact finer leaf forms has made Lomandra longifolia popular as an ever green grass like plant in home plantings. Tanika, Lomandra longifolia 'LM300', also known as Breeze Grass in the USA, was the first fine leaf type. It still has the finest leaf of any Lomandra longifolia, with a width of 3 mm.[7] In temperatures down to −7 degrees Celsius these plants stay evergreen, and this variety has been recorded to live in the USA at a number of sites including Alabama, at −10 degrees Celsius. They need pruning every 3 to 4 years. The best way to prune them is to cut the back half way into a ball shape. After pruning they look very architectural.[8]

Indigenous Australians ground the seeds for use in damper, and the long, flat, fibrous leaves were used for weaving. The base of the leaves contains water, and was chewed by those in danger of dehydration.[3]


  1. ^ a b "Lomandra longifolia", World Checklist of Selected Plant Families, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew,, retrieved 2012-05-24 
  2. ^ Society for Growing Australian Plants Maroondah Inc Flora of Melbourne 1991 Edition page 281
  3. ^ a b "Video: Hungry? Try some bush tucker.". The Sydney Morning Herald. 2011-06-28. Retrieved 2011-06-28. 
  4. ^ Alan Fairley and Philip Moore Native plants of the Sydney district, page 368. Kangaroo Press, 1989.
  5. ^ W.Rodger Elliot and David L. Jones Encyclopaedia of Australian Plants, Volume 6, page 224. A Lothian Book, 1993.
  6. ^ "Lomandra longifolia". Australian Plant Name Index (APNI), IBIS database. Centre for Plant Biodiversity Research, Australian Government. 
  7. ^ Plant Breeders Rights Plant Varieties Journal, Volume 15 Issue 3, 2003.
  8. ^ Todd Layt Drought Tolerant Gardening Guide, page 5. ISBN 978-0-646-50860-3, Ozbreed, 2009.
  • Lomandra longifolia, Growing Native Plants, Australian National Botanic Gardens, Australian National Herbarium. Retrieved 2009-05-04.


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