Lomandra longifolia

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Lomandra longifolia
Lomandra longifolia.jpg
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Monocots
Order: Asparagales
Family: Asparagaceae
Subfamily: Lomandroideae
Genus: Lomandra
L. longifolia
Binomial name
Lomandra longifolia

Xerotes longifolia (Labill.) R.Br.

Lomandra longifolia, commonly known as spiny-head mat-rush,[2] spiky-headed mat-rush[3] 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.[4] It grows in a variety of soil types and is frost, heat and drought tolerant.[5] Labillardiere described Lomandra longifolia from a specimen collected in Tasmania.[6]


This strappy leaf plant is often used in landscaping in Australia, New Zealand, Spain, and the United States, 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 US, was the first fine leaf type. It still has the finest leaf of any Lomandra longifolia, with a width of 3 mm.[7] 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.

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).[8]


Many parts of the plant are edible. Indigenous Australians grind and soak the yellow seed heads for use in damper. The long, flat, fibrous leaves are used for weaving dilly bags, fishing nets, mats, baskets, and other goods.[9] The flowers are edible and taste of peas. The base of the leaves contains water, and was chewed by those in danger of dehydration. They taste of peas or celery.[3][10]

Aboriginal-style basket made from lomandra longifolia.
Aboriginal-style basket made from lomandra longifolia.


  1. ^ a b "Lomandra longifolia", World Checklist of Selected Plant Families, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, retrieved 2012-05-24
  2. ^ Society for Growing Australian Plants Maroondah Inc Flora of Melbourne 1991 Edition page 281
  3. ^ a b "Video: Hungry? Try some bush tucker". The Sydney Morning Herald. 2011-06-28. Retrieved 2011-06-28.
  4. ^ Alan Fairley and Philip Moore Native plants of the Sydney district, page 368. Kangaroo Press, 1989.
  5. ^ W.Rodger Elliot and David L. Jones Encyclopaedia of Australian Plants, Volume 6, page 224. A Lothian Book, 1993.
  6. ^ "Lomandra longifolia". Australian Plant Name Index (APNI), IBIS database. Centre for Plant Biodiversity Research, Australian Government.
  7. ^ Plant Breeders Rights Plant Varieties Journal, Volume 15 Issue 3, 2003.
  8. ^ "Lomandra hystrix (LOMANDRACEAE) Green matrush". Retrieved 2015-01-27.
  9. ^ Native Nibbles, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, 2017-05-13, retrieved 2022-06-16
  10. ^ "Lomandra longifolia Longleaf Mat-Rush PFAF Plant Database". pfaf.org. Retrieved 2022-06-16.
  • Lomandra longifolia, Growing Native Plants, Australian National Botanic Gardens, Australian National Herbarium. Retrieved 2009-05-04.