Spinifex (plant)

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Spinifex longifolius in the Grant Marine Park in Cottesloe, Western Australia..JPG
Spinifex longifolius
Grant Marine Park
Cottesloe, Western Australia.
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Monocots
Clade: Commelinids
Order: Poales
Family: Poaceae
Subfamily: Panicoideae
Subtribe: Cenchrinae
Genus: Spinifex
Type species
Spinifex squarrosus
(syn of S. littoreus)[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.

formerly included[1]

Spinifex paradoxus - Zygochloa paradoxa


  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