Triodia (grass)

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This article is about the grass species of arid Australia. For True spinifex, or coastal spinifex, see Spinifex (genus).
Triodia hummock grassland.jpg
Triodia pungens (green) and Triodia basedowii (blue-grey)
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Monocots
(unranked): Commelinids
Order: Poales
Family: Poaceae
Genus: Triodia

Plectrachne Henrard

A controlled burn of Triodia (1989), CSIRO

Triodia is a large genus of hummock-forming grass endemic to Australia; they are commonly known as spinifex, although they are not a part of the coastal genus Spinifex.[1] Many of the soft-leaved members of this species were formerly included in the genus Plectrachne.[3]

Triodia is a perennial Australian grass which grows in arid regions and has awl-shaped, pointed leaves. The leaf tips (high in silica) can break off in the skin, leading to infections. Leaves are 30–40 centimetres long.

Spinifex has traditionally had many uses for Australian Aborigines. The seeds were collected and ground to make seedcakes. Spinifex resin was an important adhesive used in spear-making. Smoke signals were made to communicate with families and groups a long distance away, as burning spinifex produces a strong black smoke.

The species Triodia wiseana is used for building shelters; bunched together it is used for trapping fish against creek beds. It is called baru in the languages of the Yindjibarndi and Ngarluma people, the English term is hard spinifex.[4]

Formerly included[2]

numerous species once considered members of Triodia but now regarded as better suited to other genera: Austrofestuca Chascolytrum Danthonia Dasyochloa Deschampsia Diplachne Disakisperma Erioneuron Gouinia Graphephorum Leptocarydion Notochloe Plinthanthesis Poa Puccinellia Rytidosperma Scolochloa Spartina Torreyochloa Trichoneura Tridens Triplasis Tripogon Vaseyochloa

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b M. Lazarides (1997). "A revision of Triodia including Plectrachne (Poaceae, Eragrostideae, Triodiinae)". Australian Systematic Botany 10 (3): 381–489. doi:10.1071/SB96012. 
  2. ^ a b Kew World Checklist of Selected Plant Families
  3. ^ Watson, L., and Dallwitz, M.J. 1992 onwards. The grass genera of the world: descriptions, illustrations, identification, and information retrieval; including synonyms, morphology, anatomy, physiology, phytochemistry, cytology, classification, pathogens, world and local distribution, and references. Version: 28 November 2005
  4. ^ Burndud (1990). Wanggalili; Yinjibarndi and Ngarluma Plants. Juluwarlu Aboriginal Corporation. p. 17. 
  5. ^ "Triodia". The Plant List. Retrieved 25 March 2015. 
  6. ^ Atlas of Living Australia

External links[edit]