Triodia (grass)

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This article is about the grass species of arid Australia. For True Spinifex, or coastal Spinifex, see Spinifex (genus).
Triodia hummock grassland.jpg
Triodia pungens (green) and Triodia basedowii (blue-grey)
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Monocots
(unranked): Commelinids
Order: Poales
Family: Poaceae
Genus: Triodia
R. Br.

See text

Triodia is a large genus of hummock-forming grass endemic to Australia; they are commonly known as spinifex, although they are not a part of the coastal genus Spinifex. There are currently 64 recognised species (Lazarides 1997). Many of the soft-leaved members of this species were formerly included in the genus Plectrachne.

Triodia is a perennial Australian grass which grows in arid regions and has awl-shaped, pointed leaves. The leaf tips (high in silica) can break off in the skin, leading to infections. Leaves are 30-40 centimetres long.

A controlled burn of Triodia (1989), CSIRO

Spinifex has traditionally had many uses for Australian Aborigines. The seeds were collected and ground to make seedcakes. Spinifex resin was an important adhesive used in spear-making. Smoke signals were made to communicate with families and groups a long distance away, as burning spinifex produces a strong black smoke.

The species Triodia wiseana is used for building shelters; bunched together it is used for trapping fish against creek beds. It is called Baru in the languages of the Yindjibarndi and Ngarluma people, the English term is Hard Spinifex.[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Burndud (1990). Wanggalili; Yinjibarndi and Ngarluma Plants. Juluwarlu Aboriginal Corporation. p. 17. 
  • Lazarides, M. (1997). "A revision of Triodia including Plectrachne (Poaceae, Eragrostideae, Triodiinae)." Australian Systematic Botany 10: 381-489.
  • Watson, L., and Dallwitz, M.J. 1992 onwards. The grass genera of the world: descriptions, illustrations, identification, and information retrieval; including synonyms, morphology, anatomy, physiology, phytochemistry, cytology, classification, pathogens, world and local distribution, and references. Version: 28 November 2005

External links[edit]