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.

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]