Spinifex (genus)

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This article is about a coastal grass species. For the grass species of arid Middle East, Africa and Australia, also commonly referred to as spinifex, see Triodia (grass).
Spinifex
Spinifex longifolius in the Grant Marine Park in Cottesloe, Western Australia..JPG
Spinifex longifolius
Grant Marine Park
Cottesloe, Western Australia.
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Monocots
(unranked): Commelinids
Order: Poales
Family: Poaceae
Genus: Spinifex
L.
Type species
Spinifex squarrosus
(syn of S. littoreus)[1]
L.
Synonyms[1]

Ixalum G.Forst

Spinifex seed head, resting on the beach.

Spinifex is a genus of perennial coastal plants in the grass family.[2][3][4][5]

They are one of the most common plants that grow in sand dunes along the coasts of Africa, Middle East, Asia, Australia, New Zealand and New Caledonia, with the ranges of some species extending north and west along the coasts of Asia as far as India and Japan.[6] As they help stabilise the sand, these grasses are an important part of the entire sand dune ecosystem. The single species indigenous to New Zealand, Spinifex sericeus,[7] is also found in Australia.[8]

Confusingly, the word "spinifex" is also used as a common name referring 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.

Species[1][9]
  1. Spinifex × alterniflorus Nees - Western Australia
  2. Spinifex hirsutus Labill. - all 6 states of Australia
  3. Spinifex littoreus (Burm.f.) Merr. - Ashmore Reef in Western Australia; New Guinea, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Indochina, Indian Subcontinent, China (Fujian, Guangdong, Guangxi, Hainan, Taiwan), Japan including Ryukyu Islands
  4. Spinifex longifolius R.Br. - Thailand, Indonesia, New Guinea, Queensland, Northern Territory, Western Australia, South Australia
  5. Spinifex sericeus R.Br. - all 6 states of Australia plus Norfolk Island, New Zealand, New Caledonia, Tonga
formerly included[1]

Spinifex paradoxus - Zygochloa paradoxa

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Kew World Checklist of Selected Plant Families
  2. ^ Linnaeus, Carl von. 1771. Mantissa Plantarum 163, 300
  3. ^ Tropicos, Spinifex L.
  4. ^ Flora of China Vol. 22 Page 553 鬣刺属 lie ci shu Spinifex Linnaeus, Mant. Pl. 2: 163, 300. 1771.
  5. ^ Atlas of Living Australia Spinifex L.
  6. ^ "Sand spinifex grass (Spinifex sericeus)" (PDF). Descriptions of Major Dune Plants. Beach Protection Authority, Queensland. Retrieved 23 January 2010. 
  7. ^ Mark, Alan F. (1 March 2009). "Grasslands - Spinifex". Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand. Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Retrieved 31 January 2010. 
  8. ^ 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. 
  9. ^ The Plant List search for Spinifex

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.