Common name: Hairy Spinifex, Rolling Spinifex, Coastal Spinifex
Spinifex sericeus R.Br. APNI*
Synonyms: Spinifex hirsutus Labill. APNI*
Description: Stout, stoloniferous, dioecious perennials; stolons branched, several metres long; common on coastal sand dunes.
Ligule a rim of dense hairs; blade rolled in bud, flat, linear, densely silky-hairy.
Inflorescences of different sex and appearance on separate plants; the female inflorescence becoming detached from the plant at maturity and behaving as a diaspore. Male inflorescence a terminal cluster of racemes of spikes subtended by silky-hairy bracts (resembling spathes); rachis bare in the lower part and prolonged as a stout bristle beyond the spikelets. Spikelets silky-hairy, 8–12 mm long, on short, stout pedicels, with 2 male florets. Glumes subequal, 3.5–4.5 mm long, 5–7-nerved, hairy on the back and upper margins. Lemmas almost equal, 3–5-nerved, stiff, often slightly hairy on the margins; palea equal to the lemma, strongly 2-keeled, 2-nerved. Female inflorescence a globular head of sessile racemes, to 20 cm diam., each raceme reduced to a single spikelet enclosed by large silky-hairy bracts, rachis extending into a stout bristle 5–10 cm long giving the cluster a spiky appearance. Spikelets 12–16 mm long, sessile or subsessile, florets 2, the lower usually sterile, the upper female or bisexual. Glumes subequal, 14–16 mm long, many-nerved, stiff, acuminate, silky-hairy on upper margins. Lemmas shorter than the glumes, 8–11 mm long, 3–7-nerved, slightly hairy at the apex; palea 2-nerved, acutely keeled. Grain elliptical-oblong, 5.5 mm long, 2.75 mm wide, turgid, slightly dorsally compressed, brown.
Flowering: Flowers in summer.
Distribution and occurrence: Sand-binding and colonising grass on coastal dunes and can continue its growth if partially buried by sand
NSW subdivisions: NC, CC, SC, LHI
Other Australian states: Qld Vic. Tas.
These species should not be confused with the many species of 'Spinifex' in inland Australia that belong either to the genus Triodia or to Plectrachne.
Text by Jacobs, S.W.L., Whalley, R.D.B. & Wheeler, D.J.B. Grasses of New South Wales, Fourth Edition (2008).
Taxon concept: Grasses of New South Wales, Fourth Edition (2008).
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