Spinifex (genus)

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This article is about a coastal grass species. For the grass species of arid Australia, also commonly referred to as Spinifex, see Triodia (plant genus).
Spinifex grass
Spinifex longifolius fg01.JPG
Spinifex longifolius
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Monocots
(unranked): Commelinids
Order: Poales
Family: Poaceae
Genus: Spinifex

S. sericeus - Beach Spinifex
S. littoreus

Spinifex is a genus of perennial coastal grasses. They are one of the most common plants that grow in sand dunes along the coasts of Australia, New Zealand and New Caledonia.[1] As they help stabilise the sand, these grasses are an important part of the entire sand dune ecosystem. Of the four species three are indigenous to Australia and one to Indonesia. The single species indigenous to New Zealand, Spinifex sericeus,[2] is also found in Australia.[3]

Confusingly, the term "Spinifex" also refers to grasses in the related genus Triodia. Triodia however is native to inland Australia and refers to a group of spiny-leaved, tussock-forming grasses.

Spinifex seed head, resting on the beach.


  1. ^ "Sand spinifex grass (Spinifex sericeus)". Descriptions of Major Dune Plants. Beach Protection Authority, Queensland. Retrieved 23 January 2010. 
  2. ^ Mark, Alan F. (1 March 2009). "Grasslands - Spinifex". Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand. Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Retrieved 31 January 2010. 
  3. ^ Webb, C.J.; Sykes, W.R.; Garnock-Jones, P.J. (1988). Flora of New Zealand Volume IV. Botany Division, Department of Scientific and Industrial Research. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Stretch, John (1996) Fire management of spinifex pastures in the coastal and west Pilbara South Perth, W.A. Agriculture Western Australia. Miscellaneous publication, 1326-4168 ; 23/96
  • Williams. A.R. and Tauss, R (editors) (1990) The Utilization of spinifex for pastoral purposes : proceedings of a workshop held at Yeelirrie Station on 14 November 1989 Sandstone, W.A. Sandstone Land Conservation District.