Spiny-headed Mat-rush (Lomandra longifolia)

As the flower spikes are small and on the inside of the grass-like clumps of leaves, it is easy to miss them.

I’ve been walking past a patch of plants with clumps of long, flat, green leaves for  the entire time we’ve lived on our property, and only in the last couple of weeks did I realise these Spiny-headed Mat-Rush plants had beautiful white flower spikes hidden away.  From the research I have done, it seems they are members of the Xanthorrhoea  Family.  Once I found this out, it seemed so obvious looking at those multiple-bloomed flower spikes!

The flowers are well-named. Each head of tiny white flowers has protruding ‘spikes’ but these seem to do little to keep predators away.  I managed to capture a millipede in a couple of photographs I took:

This millipede doesn’t seem to find the spines an impediment.

The Department of Environment and Primary Industries (DEPI) website states that there are male and female plants.  The flower spikes look similar but flowers on the female plants are slightly larger than on the male plants.  As the flowers age, they turn a straw colour before producing green berries.  I’ll keep checking for them and post a ‘Part 2″ when I find some.  In the meantime, here is a closer look at both the flowers and that millipede.

The small triangular-shaped flowers cluster in a rounded ‘head’ with multiple spikes protruding. Along with the odd millipede here and there.



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