Monday, November 22, 2010

Spinifex sericeus, Beach Spinifex

Beach Spinifex 
Spinifex sericeus
This native grass is familiar to anyone visiting a surf beach along the coast from Victoria to northern Queensland. It is one of the most important sand stabilizing plants in eastern Australia.The female inflorescence, which is pictured here, consists of a group of long narrow spines which change colour from blue-grey to straw as they mature. The spines are actually soft to touch and carry minute flowers. They are fertilized by the male flower which is a short fan shaped spikelet formed on a separate stem some distance away. When the seed is ripe, the whole female structure detaches from the plant and cartwheels across the sand shedding seed as it goes. They mimic the seed dispersal method of the desert tumbleweed familiar to those who enjoy old western movies.
I do not have any plants of it available for sale.

4 comments:

  1. Hi, beautiful pictures, is an interesting plant.. here there are´t..
    Saludos..

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  2. It is a very pretty grass. I was surprised to learn that it is soft to the touch. BTW, what is the pale blue plant at the back right in your header photo? It is a very pretty colour.

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  3. You are right. I have seen those on the beach. Thanks for the information.

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