Beach Spinifex

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Spinifex sericeus

Family : Poaceae

Beach Spinifex is a distinctive, coastal grass that is clump forming. It has strong runners that run under or over the sand. The thin grass blades have silky hairs, are a greyish or silvery green and are long and tapered.

Beach Spinifex has separate male and female flowers that appear differently. The female flowers are clustered in tight, globular heads while the male flowers are on erect spikes. The flowers appear in August – October.

The fruit is spiky, with up to 150 heads in clusters. These are often seen blowing along the beach in the wind. Seed are contained in the spiky ball. Fruits appear generally during the wet season.

This is a very tough, sand binding grass. Colonising the dune, it provides habitat for crustaceans and insects of the fore dune. In a garden situation, it provides interesting contrast and texture.

Photos

Beach Spinifex © NQ Dry Tropics Beach Spinifex © NQ Dry Tropics Beach Spinifex © NQ Dry Tropics


Quick Facts

Flowers August to October
Fruit November to February
Coastal Zone Fore Dune
Fauna Habitat Crustaceans
Growth Habit Grass
Typical Height Creeper
Soils Well Drained Soils
Amount of Sun Full Sun
Amount of Water Dry Areas through to Wet Areas
Salt Tolerance Extremely Tolerant

References

NQ Dry Tropics gratefully acknowledges the contribution of the Coastal Dry Tropics Landcare Group Incorporated (CTDLI) to the development of this page's information.

Related information

Beach Spinifex © NQ Dry Tropics
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