Spinifex longifolius

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Beach spinifex
Spinifex longifolius fg01.JPG
Spinifex longifolius - Flickr - Kevin Thiele (1).jpg
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Monocots
Clade: Commelinids
Order: Poales
Family: Poaceae
Genus: Spinifex
S. longifolius
Binomial name
Spinifex longifolius
  • Spinifex littoreus var. longifolius (R.Br.) Backer
  • Spinifex fragilis R.Br.
Spinifex longifolius in the Grant Marine Park in Cottesloe, Western Australia.

Spinifex longifolius, commonly known as beach spinifex, is a perennial grass that grows in sandy regions along the seacoast. It also lives in most deserts around Australia.


It grows as a tussock from 30 centimetres to a metre high, and up to two metres wide. It has long flat leaves, and green or brown flowers.[2]

It is similar in appearance to S. littoreus, but that species has hard, sharp leaves capable of drawing blood, whereas the leaves of S. longifolius are a good deal softer.[3]


It was first published by Robert Brown in his 1810 Prodromus Florae Novae Hollandiae.[4]

Distribution and habitat[edit]

It occurs on coastal dunes of white sand, in Australia, Indonesia, and Thailand.[1][5] In Australia, it occurs from Cape Leeuwin in Western Australia, north and east to the western edge of Cape York Peninsula in Queensland.[6]


  1. ^ a b Kew World Checklist of Selected Plant Families
  2. ^ "Spinifex longifolius R.Br". FloraBase. Western Australian Government Department of Parks and Wildlife.
  3. ^ Pike, G. D. & Leach, G. J. (1997). Handbook of the vascular plants of Ashmore and Cartier Islands. Canberra: Parks Australia.
  4. ^ "Spinifex longifolius R.Br". Australian Plant Name Index (APNI), IBIS database. Centre for Plant Biodiversity Research, Australian Government.
  5. ^ Clayton, W.D.; Vorontsova, M.S.; Harman, K.T.; Williamson, H. "Spinifex longifolius". GrassBase - The Online World Grass Flora. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
  6. ^ CANB specimens of Spinifex longifolius in Australasia

Further reading[edit]

  • Webster, R. D. (1987). The Australian Paniceae (Poaceae). Berlin: J. Cramer.