An initiative of Earthwatch Institute

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Spiny-headed Mat-rush

Lomandra longifolia


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

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

Fruits: globular capsule. Mature then turn brown.


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


ClimateWatch Science Advisor

We expect plants to start shooting and flowering earlier in the year as a result of climate change warming the Earth. They may also start appearing in new areas, as warmer temperatures enable them to live in environments that were previously too cold or unsuitable

Help scientists answer the question: "How are our animals, plants and ecosystems responding to climate change?"

When To Look

Flowering occurs in warm temperatures (September to February).

Fruiting occurs 1-2 months after flowering.

Note: ClimateWatch is looking for any changes in the timing of these events so remember to keep a lookout all year

Where To Look

It can grow in sandy soils, swamps, wet habitats such as the banks of creeks and can be found in open forests and rocky hillsides of VIC, NSW, QLD, TAS.

Widely planted in urban gardens.

Note: ClimateWatch is looking for any changes outside of their known ranges so remember to keep a lookout beyond these regions too!


Lomandra longifolia GBIF

Lomandra longifolia distribution GBIF



Australia National Botanic Gardens Centre for National Biodiversity Research -

Agriculture Victoria Victorian Resources Online -

Yarra Ranges Council -

Save Our Waterways Now -

VicFlora -

PlantNET -


  1. Search Species

  1. What Else?

    Lomandra hystrix  - Differs in leaf apex and contains paler flowers.

  1. Did You Know?

    Aboriginal people use the leaves to make strong baskets and nets and also use the fruit as a food source.