Common name: spiny-headed mat-rush, honey reed
Lomandra longifolia Labill. APNI*
Synonyms: Lomandra longifolia subsp. exilis A.T.Lee APNI*
Lomandra longifolia Labill. var. longifolia APNI*
Description: Tufted perennial herb.
Leaves flat or slightly concavo-convex, occasionally rolled, usually 50–100 cm long, 5–7.5 mm wide, (sometimes c. 2 mm wide) glabrous; apex 2- or 3-toothed, central tooth in pronounced sinus or longer than laterals; sheath margins intact or coarsely split, brown, orange-brown or reddish brown, occasionally white.
Male and female inflorescences similar, simple or branched; all branches or when many the larger branches often 2 per node, distichous, from less than 8 c. up to 15 cm long; scape distinct, much shorter to much longer than rachis, flattened; flower clusters whorled. Cluster bracts conspicuous, longer to much longer than flowers, pungent; bract and inner bract shorter than flower, truncate, whitish. Flowers ellipsoidal or cylindrical, sessile; male flowers 3–3.5 mm long, females c. 4.5 mm long. Outer tepals shiny, scarious, purplish or yellow; inner tepals dull, fleshy, yellow or cream.
Distribution and occurrence: Grows in a variety of habitats; west to Bobadah.
NSW subdivisions: NC, CC, SC, NT, CT, ST, NWS, CWS, SWS, NWP
Other Australian states: Qld Vic. Tas. S.A.
A variable species which, in parts of N.S.W. and S Qld, is not clearly distinct from L. confertifolia subsp. pallida. Other taxa closely related and in some cases difficult to distinguish from L. longifolia include L. hystrix, L. fluviatilis, L. spicata and L. montana.
See Bush foods of New South Wales for more information.
Lomandra is sometimes placed in the family Asparagaceae.
Text by A.L. Quirico
Taxon concept: Flora of NSW 4 (1993)
APNI* Provides a link to the Australian Plant Name Index (hosted by the Australian National Botanic Gardens) for comprehensive bibliographic data
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