Botanic Gardens Trust, Sydney, Australia

Lomandra longifolia

Lomandraceae

Spiny-headed Mat-rush

Description

This widespread herb has separate male and female plants. The small, creamy, male and female spiny flower heads appear in spring. Male flowers produce pollen and are 3-3.5 mm long; perfumed female flowers are approximately 4.5 mm long. The plant has tough, narrow leaves 50-100 cm long, which grow from an underground stem.

Where it is found

The Mat-rush is found in a variety of habitats along the New South Wales coast, tablelands, northern and central western slopes and north-western plains. It also occurs in Queensland, Victoria, Tasmania and South Australia. The bush is common in street and park plantings and can provide a safe habitat for lizards and other small animals.

Uses

  • The tough leaves can be used to make baskets.
  • Leaf bases are edible, with a pea-like flavour.
  • The flowers are also edible - watch out for the spines!

Further information

Click here for further information on Lomandra longifolia.

Lomandra longifolia
The Spiny-headed Mat-rush (Lomandra longifolia) is a common sight, especially along the NSW coast. Its leaves are used to make baskets. This photo was taken at Coogee, NSW in 1954.

Lomandra-longifolia
Lomandra longifolia: leaf, female flowers, male flowers, habit.