Xerotes longifolia (Labill.) R.Br.
Lomandra longifolia, commonly known as spiny-head mat-rush, spiky-headed mat-rush or basket grass, is a perennial, rhizomatous herb found throughout eastern Australia. The leaves are 40 cm to 80 cm long, and generally have a leaf of about 8 mm to 12 mm wide. It grows in a variety of soil types and is frost, heat and drought tolerant. Labillardiere described Lomandra longifolia from a specimen collected in Tasmania.
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 evergreen 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. 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.
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.
L. longifolia is closely related to L. hystrix, the main differences being that the leaf of L. hystrix has teeth on each side of the longer main end point, whereas that of L. longifolia has side teeth equal if not longer than the central one (a W shape).
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- Lomandra longifolia, Growing Native Plants, Australian National Botanic Gardens, Australian National Herbarium. Retrieved 2009-05-04.
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