Spiny-headed Mat-rush Donald Hobern/Flickr

Spiny-headed Mat-rush

Did You Know?

  • First Nations people use the leaves to make strong baskets and nets, and also use the fruit as a food source
FactBox Image

Perennial, rhizomatous herb with strappy leaves.


Glossy green, firm and flat. Long and thin up to 1 m long and roughly 1 cm wide. Leaves are usually taller than the flowering stem. Leaf base is broad with brownish edges. Tips of leaves have teeth.


Grow in a whorled cluster attached to a straw-coloured bracts. Individual flowers are roughly 4mm long, but the cluster and leaf grow to 50 cm. Have a strong scent. Flower head is brown – during flowering petals are creamy yellow.


Globular capsule. Mature then turn brown.

Field Guide

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Species: WhatToObserve Image

What to Observe

  • First fully open single flower

  • Full flowering (record all days)

  • End of flowering (when 95% of the flowers have faded)

  • No flowering

  • Fruiting

Species: WhenAndWhere Image

When and Where

When To Look

  • Flowering occurs in warm temperatures (September to February)
  • Fruiting occurs 1 - 2 months after flowering

Where To Look

  • Victoria, NSW, Queensland, Tasmania
  • In sandy soils, swamps, wet habitats such as the banks of creeks
  • Found in open forests and rocky hillsides
  • Widely planted in urban gardens
Species: WhatElse Image

What Else?

Similar Species

Lomandra hystrix differs in leaf apex and contains paler flowers.