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]