Triodia (plant)

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"Triodia pungens" (green) and "Triodia basedowii" (blue-grey)
Triodia pungens (green) and Triodia basedowii (blue-grey)
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Monocots
Clade: Commelinids
Order: Poales
Family: Poaceae
Subfamily: Chloridoideae
Tribe: Cynodonteae
Subtribe: Triodiinae
Genus: Triodia
R.Br., 1810

Triodia is a large genus of hummock-forming bunchgrass endemic to Australia. They are known by the common name 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 tussock grass which grows in arid regions. Its leaves (30–40 centimetres long) are subulate (awl-shaped, with a tapering point). The leaf tips, that are high in silica, can break off in the skin, leading to infections.[citation needed]


Spinifex has traditionally had many uses for Aboriginal Australians. 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]

A controlled burn of Triodia (1989), CSIRO


Species currently include:[5][6]

Formerly included species[edit]

Numerous species once considered members of Triodia have been reclassified, they are in other genera, which include: Austrofestuca, Chascolytrum, Danthonia, Dasyochloa, Deschampsia, Diplachne, Disakisperma, Erioneuron, Gouinia, Graphephorum, Leptocarydion, Notochloe, Plinthanthesis, Poa, Puccinellia, Rytidosperma, Scolochloa, Spartina, Torreyochloa, Trichoneura, Tridens, Triplasis, Tripogon, and Vaseyochloa.[2]

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". Retrieved 19 January 2019.
  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. ^ Australia, Atlas of Living. "Triodia". Retrieved 19 January 2019.

External links[edit]